Are you “Storm Ready”?

Severe damage may be prevented if homeowners have procedures in place to protect themselves and their property. Creating a safety plan and assembling a disaster supply kit are great first steps in weathering any storm and in helping you and your family feel more secure.  Here are a few important tips to prepare your home before a storm hits:

  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves and debris to avoid ice dams and leaks.
  • Put away lawn and deck furniture, bikes, toys, tools, and other items that could blow away or become dangerous flying objects in a severe storm.
  • Remove any large tree limbs and branches hanging over your house or driveway that could damage your roof or car in a big wind gust.  Cut back any dead limbs or branches as these can easily break off in a storm and cause damage or injury.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting to protect your perishable food longer if there is a power outage.
  • Consider having flashlights or battery-powered lanterns in each room in the event of a power outage.  Candles can be more dangerous than beneficial as they give off limited light but are a leading cause of winter home fires.  Propane, kerosene and other fuel-powered lanterns are also very dangerous to use inside your home.
  • Keep your car gas tank as full as possible.  If you’re stranded, you may want to run the car heater intermittently to stay warm. If you need to leave your house, gas stations may not be operating due to the snow or power outages. 
  • Have a communication plan to connect with all family members, and a contingency in case phone, internet or cell service is disrupted by the storm.
  • Create a winter emergency kit, including plenty of bottled water (one gallon per person, per day), bread, and non-perishable food like peanut butter, crackers, cereal, canned goods, etc. that you can eat if there is no power or you can’t use your stove. Don’t forget a manual can opener.
  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of any needed prescriptions, baby formula and diapers, and first-aid items in case you can’t get out of your home for several days.
  • If you have a generator, know how to use it safely and in an area away from your house or garage.  It is critical to only run a generator in an open, ventilated area where deadly carbon monoxide fumes can’t get into your house.  Also, do not connect the generator directly to your home's wiring as this can cause an electrical fire. 
  • Unplug all unnecessary items as sometimes a power surge can occur that can destroy your appliances and electronic equipment.

Know that Providence Mutual is ready to assist you with any claims from a winter storm that are covered by your home, auto, or business owners policy.