Severe Weather Could Hit Central and Eastern US This Week – Is your Home Prepared?

There were hundreds of reports of damaging wind, large hail and tornadoes across the Southeastern and Mid Atlantic regions of the US last week. The weekend’s weather was relatively calm but now the National Weather Service is warning that severe storms are set to return to parts of the central and eastern states this week.

The weather pattern that’s moving across the country is very typical for this time of year. Pockets of energy along the jet stream will develop in the Southeast and move into the Plains states. Large, powerful rain or snow storms with high winds are expect to develop with the chance of severe thunderstorms developing. Some of these storms are expected to exceed severe limits in the central US, so says the National Weather Service.

This is the time of year when the weather can be very unpredictable. For homeowners that means that basements could flood if the rain comes down relentlessly and if the precipitation that falls is snow, it could be heavy and wet and cause all types of problems like knocking down tree limbs and powerlines. And, if freezing rain falls, entire trees and power poles can be toppled, resulting in widespread power outages. High winds can damage roofs, siding or other exterior features of homes. Lightning has the potential to damage home electrical systems and even cause fires. Depending upon where you live, you could also be threatened by tornadoes and hurricanes.

This means that now is the time to do an inspection of your home and property. It is also time to remove loose or dead branches from trees. You should make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clear and ensure that no shingles on your roof are loose. The key to keeping your home and property save is being informed, fixing what is wrong and keeping an eye on weather conditions. It is also important to check your insurance coverage well in advance to see if you are covered for any storm damage you may incur.

Once bad weather has moved through and out of your area, you should check your home and property for any damages. If it has been raining heavily for many hours or for several days, be on the lookout for possible flooding. If you live in a flood-prone area have an evacuation plan in place. Be sure every member of your family knows about the plan. You also should move valuables from your basement or lowest level upstairs. If you live in a part of the country which experiences tornadoes, identify a safe area in your home where your family and pets can gather. Put an emergency kit there which includes a radio and batteries, medical supplies, non-perishable food and bottled water.