Summer is just around the corner in Texas, and along with it comes a different kind of inclement weather: summer storms. Since our Texas climate is conducive to severe summer weather, you must prepare your home properly each summer to help mitigate storm-related damage.
Here’s our comprehensive guide on protecting your home from summer storms in Texas:
Don’t ignore outdoor preparation
You should prepare your home for a storm by considering your exterior first. For example, you should secure your patio furniture, ensuring your umbrella doesn’t fly through your neighbor’s window. You should also move your car to a location that doesn’t flood. Plus, covering doors and windows with plastic shields or plywood also helps.
Before every summer season, you should also visually inspect the trees surrounding your property. Walk around your home’s exterior and see if there are any dangerous trees. If possible, safely cut the threatening branches. However, you should always call a professional for precarious branches and sickly trees.
Brace for a power outage
One of the leading causes of power outages is severe weather. So, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Here’s how you should prepare for approaching the store:
- Fill up large zipper storage bags and containers with water and pack your freezer with them. If there’s an outage, you’ll have fresh water and a bunch of ice to keep things cool.
- Get a solar charger for your phone.
- Invest in surge protectors and turn off any appliances and electronics to prevent damage if there’s a power surge.
- Check that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are operational and have backup batteries.
- Ensure you have batteries on hand for flashlights.
- Buy a standby generator if your area receives multiple storms in the summer.
If someone in your home needs the power to run medical devices, you can get in touch with your utility company. They may prioritize your area over others for quicker re connection.
Call your local pharmacy if you have refrigerated medicine — they’ll tell you how to handle power outages.
Sign up for local alerts
Many local communities have an alert system that sends messages via text/email to your phone. Often, these automated systems provide notifications about various types of information — from tips on how to prepare for a storm to the status of local roads and steps your town is taking to keep you safe. Sometimes, they’ll even tell you that your trash pickup wouldn’t be available during the storm. You can either follow your town’s social media accounts or sign up directly for this service on your community’s website.
Alternatively, you can also follow emergency information and national weather social media accounts — these channels will offer you more information about dangerous, impending weather.
Draft a home emergency plan
Like a fire evacuation plan, you also need a home emergency plan for your family. If you’re in Texas and your area is prone to summer storms, ensure your family knows how to retreat to a storm shelter, safe room, closet, or basement. Practice ‘drop, cover, and hold on’ if your area is prone to earthquakes.
Plus, have a place to meet inside the neighborhood, such as a specific tree or a neighbor’s house, in case it becomes necessary to evacuate your home. You should also choose a place outside the immediate area, such as a friend’s house or a library, in case a family member isn’t able to make it home. This will give your family members a safe place to stay during a summer storm, and you’ll also know where to find them after the storm passes.
If your area is prone to devastating summer storms, then start storing emergency supplies in your home. You should at least have portable cellphone chargers, local maps, first aid kits, a battery-powered radio for weather updates, and nonperishable food and water for three days. Visit Ready.gov to find a complete list of items you should have in your emergency kit.
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