Do you get just as nervous for a severe thunderstorm warning as you do a tornado warning? Everyone knows how seriously a tornado warning should be taken, but make no mistake, a severe thunderstorm warning should be taken just as seriously.
According to the National Weather Service, nearly 80% of all tornadoes in Illinois occur between April 1st and June 30th, usually during the late afternoon and early evening hours. However in the past few years there’s been a shift and nearly half of all Illinois tornadoes occurred in the fall or winter.
In a typical year, Illinois averages 50 tornadoes. Last year there were 50 tornadoes reported, resulting in 3 fatalities, 17 injuries, and more than $12 Million in damages.
While a severe thunderstorm may not be capable of demolishing homes to a pile of rubble like a tornado can, they can certainly cause very devastating damage to your home and property. Severe thunderstorms are also dangerous and occasionally deadly.
Being prepared is essential to potentially reduce the storm damage to your home.
Here are 10 quick and easy home tips you can use to prepare for the upcoming storm season.
- Designate a safe place in your home to take shelter during a storm. This is ideally in the lowest level of your home with few windows or large furniture. Make sure all your family members know this is where to go in the event of a big storm.
- Prepare a safe place for your pet(s). If you have pets keep in mind that storms, especially severe storms, will affect them too. Create a sleeping and eating area for your pets within the designated safe place of your home. Be sure to stock extra food, treats, and water.
- Prepare an emergency kit. It's a good idea to stockpile crucial items to help your family get through any power outage or delay in aid after a storm. Items to consider are:
- Extra batteries of all sizes
- Battery-operated radio
- Portable cell phone charger
- First-aid kit
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable snacks and meals
- Check any wall air conditioners. Since these appliances essentially exist in a hole in your home, it's important to make sure they're sealed correctly.
- Test your sump pump. Make sure the system is draining properly and mechanical components are operating well. Consider battery-powered backup options in case there is a power outage.
- Clean your gutters. When the rain comes, you need a clear drainage path away from your roof. This will prevent water from pooling at your house's foundation and possibly entering your basement.
- Secure your gutters. Make sure all downspouts and extensions are in place and are the proper length to move water away from your foundation.
- Make sure your trees are pruned and healthy. Windstorms can do a lot of damage. Get rid of trees that pose a potential risk for falling on your home or on another property you value.
- Secure your outdoor gear. This includes furniture, tools, mowers, etc. If they are not in use, put them away or tie them down. These can become either damaged or the cause of damage in a high wind situation.
- Stay informed. Make sure you have a way of getting weather notifications. Several free weather apps will send you a push notification when severe weather is in your area.
Unfortunately, this time of year comes with rain, hail, high winds, tornadoes and whatever else Mother Nature has in store. Severe thunderstorms should never be taken lightly, especially as a homeowner. Being proactive and understanding the consequences of the major threats of a thunderstorm will help to keep you, your family, and your property safe.
Make sure you’re prepared and make sure you have the correct amount of home insurance for your family. We can help, give us a call for a free quote.