We’ve recently experienced powerful wind storms in Northern Virginia– complete with downed trees, structural damage and power outages. As we gear up for hurricane season and summer storms, protecting our roofing and siding is always a concern. Power outages are another significant problem in our region. Here are some tips for preparing for power outages and other storm-related damage.
What Supplies Should I Have On Hand for Power Outages?
Who remembers the derecho of 2012? While the average power outage lasts around six hours, they can last for days in Northern Virginia. Severe weather is the leading cause of outages. Before summer storms roll in, assemble your emergency kit. Make sure your gear is easily accessible and food and batteries are fresh. Also, consider your family’s unique needs and provide for babies, young children, seniors and pets as needed. Your emergency kit should contain the following:
- Water (experts recommend one gallon per person per day). FEMA recommends a two-week supply per person when possible–or as much as you can store
- Non-perishable food, including canned meats and vegetables, jerky, nuts and other dry goods
- Solar or battery-powered chargers for phones and other electronics
- Battery powered fans
- First aid kit
- Flashlights and candles
- Battery-operated radio
- Extra batteries in various sizes
- Duct tape
- Manual can opener
- Paper plates and disposable utensils
- Coolers and ice
- Charcoal and/or fuel for outdoor grilling
How Can I Prepare and Protect My Home During Storms?
As summer storm and hurricane season approaches, there are several steps we can take to prepare our homes, protect our valuables and ensure we’re covered if disaster strikes.
- Secure exterior objects, including outdoor furniture, landscaping materials, trash cans, dog houses, sports equipment, trampolines and satellite dishes. You’d be amazed at what can turn into flying debris when heavy winds blow through.
- Disconnect electrical appliances to avoid a dangerous power surge if lightning strikes a nearby electric pole. Unplugging protects your essential devices and technology.
- Consider an emergency generator. It can keep essential appliances running and prevent food from spoiling in case of a power outage. They can also keep sump pumps running, potentially preventing flood damage. Many homes in Northern Virginia are opting for these valuable tools, including whole-house and partial models focused on specific systems.
- Create a home inventory list of valuable possessions, including serial numbers when possible. Having the details readily available can make filing an insurance claim easier. You can also buy an insurance rider or a separate policy for high-value items.
- Store important documents, including health and homeowners insurance information, in an easily accessible waterproof container.
- Review your homeowner’s insurance policy, and make sure you know where to find it. Double-check coverage for storm damage to roofing and siding. Many policies cover damage from wind, hail debris, fallen trees and some types of water damage but don’t cover flood damage unless you have separate flood insurance. Does your policy cover clothing, furniture and appliances if they’re destroyed in a storm?
- Research local contractors and make a list of who to call in case of storm damage to your home’s exterior.
Repairing Storm Damage? Choose an Experienced Contractor
If a storm damages your home’s roofing or siding, you want to get the most out of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Selecting a contractor who knows all the ins and outs of insurance claims is a must. DryHome Roofing and Siding’s expert team has extensive experience filing insurance claims and working with adjusters. Our knowledgeable team helps clients understand the process and walks your adjuster through the damage and needed repairs. Regrouping and rebuilding after a storm can be stressful. Working with an experienced contractor can reduce that stress and make a challenging process easier. For 35 years, our clients choose DryHome not only for craftsmanship and skill but also for unparalleled customer care.