How to Prepare Your Home For a Hailstorm
Extreme weather is experienced all over the country, but those of us who live in Arizona know the extreme conditions that we have to protect ourselves against during monsoon season and unpredictable hailstorms. The monsoon period in Arizona is really vital to our water supply since it produces about 30% of our moisture here, but be sure and never take for granted the monsoon potential for lightning, dust, hail, heavy rains and flooding. It can get serious!
Getting a pergola, new retractable awnings, a sun shield or a carport are some great decisions when it comes to protecting you from the sun and elements year round. These precautions can protect your windows and other property, such as vehicles, from harsh weather, hailstorms and monsoons. Below are illustrated the most important things that we as homeowners can do to prepare our homes and properties for hailstorms and monsoon season surprises.
Serious damage can occur from high winds and debris tossing around. Secure and retract any retractable awnings to ensure they do not get damaged. Cover and secure your vehicles in a safe and protected area such as a garage or carport prior to the storm. Move any storage items that may be close to your home such as garbage and other storage containers, patio furniture or grills and outdoor items that could possibly be thrown against your home and cause damage to the structure, into a protected area.
Always try to prepare your property by trimming large trees that may be near your home or windows to prevent damage from falling branches. As thunderstorm wind gusts in Arizona have been known to exceed 40 mph and have even been known to reach hurricane strength, it is wise to stake any young trees. Clean out leaves and any other debris from drainpipes and gutters so you will ensure that water can drain quickly. Install downspouts to divert heavy downpours away from your home. Try to prepare for an approaching storm by checking your roof condition. Repair any damage you see that would make it more susceptible to a hailstorm. Sealing windows with tape can really help as well if you are expecting heavy rain along with the storm.
Close all doors and windows should you see a storm approaching. Close the window coverings such as blinds or drapery to protect yourself from flying glass should windows shatter. Unplug all electric appliances, televisions, computers and stereos in case of lightning strikes and never touch wiring during a thunderstorm. It is always a good idea to have a storm kit ready in every household. A storm kit should contain flashlights, candles, waterproof matches, emergency contacts and a battery operated radio. Always wait to use any plumbing such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets. Plumbing can conduct electricity from lightning strikes from outside. Arizona has been known to be subject to more lightning strikes than any other state, except for Florida, and most of those lightning strikes occur during the monsoon season. Be safe and smart!