Pre-Storm Home-Prep Tips to Take

With storm season landing over early spring and summer, homeowners across the country should batten down their hatches in preparation for a potential surge of unpleasant weather.

“Being prepared is key when dealing with the unpredictable nature of storm systems,” says Michael Petri, owner of Petri Plumbing & Heating. “Many instances of property damage resulting from inclement weather and heavy precipitation are preventable, and we want to do our part by educating our neighbors on ways to avoid disasters with a little time and proactive efforts around their homes.”

With that in mind, the Petri Plumbing & Heating team offers the following tips to prepare for severe weather systems:

Inspect the home’s exterior. 

Make sure the outside of the home is in good repair before severe weather strikes. Gutters should be clear of debris that could lead to backups and flooding around the foundation. Ensure the roof does not have any broken or damaged shingles, and inspect the foundation itself for cracks and gaps that could easily invite floodwaters into the home.

Test the sump pump.

Homes with basements should have a sump pit and sump pump, and the pump should be regularly tested to ensure it will work when needed the most. To check its operation, fill a 10-gallon bucket with water and simply pour it into the pit. The pump should turn on automatically and immediately begin removing the water. Make sure the discharge line is free of debris to ensure proper removal of water, and consider a battery backup system or generator for the sump pump. Homeowners insurance will often refuse compensation for a flooded basement if the sump pump is found to be operating incorrectly.

Know how to turn off the utilities.

Take the time to learn where the main gas and water shutoff valves are located, and become familiar with the circuit breaker panel. Knowing how to operate these ahead of time can prevent further damage and danger during severe weather emergencies. Contact a professional for proper tagging and training if the valves and breaker are not clearly marked or if there is any confusion as to their operation.

Have a plan.

Above all else, have an actionable plan for all members of the household. Emergency kits should be kept, maintained and easily accessible, and contact information for local emergency services and authorities should be kept in a visible location.

Source: Petri Plumbing & Heating

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