Wind is a part of our life on Rhode Island. Just back in December storm winds reached almost 70 mph which knocked out power to more than 20,000 houses and businesses in our region.
Even though we can’t control Mother Nature, we can take steps to protect our homes. Follow these wind preparedness tips to reduce the likelihood of damage.
Perform Routine Home Maintenance
Maintaining your home remains the number one thing you can do to prevent wind damage. Replace damaged siding and get a roof inspection. Your roofing inspector may recommend hurricane straps to further secure your home.
Routine home maintenance is also a requirement of Rhode Island homeowners insurance policy and many product warranties, too.
FEMA suggests that homeowners either install permanent storm shutters or upgrade to impact-resistant models. If your budget doesn’t permit either of these options, cover your windows with plywood during high wind warnings.
Install sliding bolts into the door frame of double entry doors. You’ll need one at the top and one at the bottom so the door doesn’t twist and tear off during high winds.
If you have a garage, have it inspected too. A professional will either recommend heavier brackets, a brace for the back of the door, or even a better quality unit that is less susceptible to damage.
An unanchored garden or storage shed can turn into a projectile in high winds. Buy manufactured home tie-downs and anchors to firmly attach the structure to the ground.
Clear Outdoor Objects
Patio chairs and table, garbage cans, grills, and other loose items should be stored indoors if we receive a high wind warning. If that isn’t possible, weave a cable around these objects secure them to the ground with anchors.
Inspect your yard and call in a professional to trim away dead branches and any near your home or power lines. An arborist will also top dangerously high trees that could break off in high winds and topple on your home.
Switch off the breaker to your pool or hot tub during high wind warnings. If you have externally mounted electronics such as security cameras you may want to remove them.
Buy a Generator
High winds often damage power lines and it often takes some time before the power is back on again. A generator can be a good investment if your area is prone to outages as it can run your refrigerator, heating, and a few lights.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
Don’t underestimate the destructive force of the wind. It can easily tear off a roof or send a heavy object hurling through the air. Even if you batten down the hatches and prepare for a storm, there’s no guarantee your home won’t be hit by something during high winds.
If you haven’t done an insurance review lately, you should. The cost to repair or rebuild continually rises and you probably own more things. Call your agent to schedule an insurance review to ensure your coverage aligns with your needs. It only takes a few minutes, but could save you plenty of problems should wind damage your home.