Much of the South woke up blanketed today in snow and ice. Northerners deal with winter weather on a regular basis; but all you have to do is turn on the television coverage from Atlanta and Alabama to see the trouble it causes in places where residents don’t prepare.
When severe winter weather strikes, you should have a plan to deal with it. What if the power goes out or a freezing pipe bursts? Preparing ahead of time can save you from a lot of future headaches. Here are five tips for protecting your home from the winter weather ahead:
Evaluate your risks
Consider what problems could threaten your home during winter weather. It could be loss of heat or frozen pipes, or it may be threatening tree branches close to your home. Determine your biggest safety and property damage risks and take steps to prevent them ahead of time.
Sometimes prevention is as easy as making sure your home is properly insulated or remembering to let your faucets drip.
Review your home insurance coverage
Now is a good time to review your home insurance coverage. What if an icy tree branch falls on your roof? Or what happens if your home becomes inhabitable due to winter storm damage? Does your Loss of Use coverage help pay for lodging and food if you are displaced?
You may need to adjust your coverage in order to have full protection. Insurance experts also recommend that homeowners keep an updated home inventory on hand so you know the value of all your possessions in the event of a covered loss.
Winter weather is much easier to get through if you are ready for it. Have an emergency supply kit ready and available. You kit may contain items like flash lights, blankets, extra food and water and other essentials. It’s also a good idea to have your home insurance policy and other important documents stored in a safe, easy-to-find location.
Make a family plan
During severe weather, keeping your family safe is the top priority. Create an emergency plan and discuss it with your family. Make sure each member knows where the emergency supplies are located and keep a list of emergency phone numbers in a easily accessible place.
As storms approach, keep an eye on the weather and know where your family members are at all times.
In any winter weather, it’s a smart idea to stay off the roads as much as possible. Snow and ice make for very treacherous road conditions that could severely endanger you and your family. Unless you absolutely have to go somewhere, it’s best to stay home.
Your family and home are important to you, which is why it’s so important to properly prepare for severe weather. If you are worried your home isn’t fully protected, call a home insurance agent and talk about coverage. One thing is for sure, when winter weather hits you don’t want to be left out in the cold.