How many of you “weathered” the latest storms and hail in the hill country? Some of my neighbors were hit worse than others with three inch sized hail crashing through bedroom windows, siding ripped up, and forget the vegetable garden that was just beginning to show some harvesting! Then add to the fray any vehicles or trailer left out.
Our own metal roof was pelted with two inch hail and high winds, along with oak limbs and leaves thrown everywhere, including our koi pond. Fortunately, we had no broken windows, amazing as that way! It’s been a couple days now cleaning things up and waiting for a roof inspector to make sure there are no holes or broken seams. Our water catchment tank and fencing seemed to survive as well.
How about you? These are the times when having possessions and taking care of them isn’t so much fun, is it? Yet, don’t we take for granted all the conveniences around us and the blessing of having a roof over our heads that doesn’t cave in?! Well, I thought this would be an appropriate time to cover a few tips on how to protect your home, vehicles, and other possessions from that next storm possibly coming your way. You never know with El Nino/La Nina effects following us (check this link for the nino/nina scoop, April 2016 El Niño/La Niña update: What goes up…https://www.climate.gov/).
Here are some preventative tips I hope will make it easier for you in the next go around.
- Wash out all your rain gutters and exterior drains of leaves and other particles to avoid water backups on the ground and maybe even inside your home’s walls. Extra important for those who have a water catchment system. You don’t want to lose precious water that you will need in drier, hotter weather.
- Install a battery backup system for your water pump; consider a backup generator as well, especially for those in more rural areas.
- Reinforce your windows with shutters, heavy-duty hinges, deadbolts to doors, to withstand strong winds.
- Trim trees nearby your home and any other structure where branches could fall and cause damage.
- If you have time prior to storm, clear all loose items including outdoor furniture that could take flight or float away during a storm.
- Check your homeowner insurance for wind, storm, hail coverage, deductibles, and exclusions for not just the home but also personal possessions. Make sure it adequately covers you where you live.
- Periodically check your roof, not just after a storm hits.
- Document your possessions by keeping an up-to-date home inventory list (most money management software programs have this feature). Keep a copy at home and in your safe deposit box.
These are just a few tips with more coming in part two article. While experts continue to estimate the repair costs for homes and public areas throughout the hill country and Texas, possibly in the billions, let’s all be there for our neighbors as we each work on getting our homes and possessions taken care of.