Monsoon season means the weather can change in a matter of seconds. According to Monsoonsafety.org, lightning strikes, high winds, dust storms, tornadoes, dust storms, wildfires, flash flooding, and extreme heat causes numerous deaths, injuries, and millions of dollars of damage each year. This year, monsoon season for the American Southwest will start June 15th and continue through September 30th.
Since monsoon season can mean extreme heat, influx of moisture, and intense storms, it is important residents of the Southwest know how to prepare their homes. By implementing these fifteen monsoon season tips, you can help protect your home and your loved ones from adverse weather.
1. Revisit Your Homeowners Insurance
Not having the right protection can be financially devastating. Homeowners are often surprised when they find out they are unable to make an insurance claim after a damaging storm. Contact your insurance company or personal insurance agent to ensure you have the proper coverage for your home.
2. Clean Your Roof
Leaves and debris can clog different sections of your roof which can affect your drainage system. Get rid of potential clogs yourself or hire a roofing professional to get your roof sparkling clean and ready to function properly.
3. Repair Your Roof
Speaking of roofs, ensure you have no missing or lose shingles or tiles! Areas around pipes, vents, and other protrusions should be tightly sealed. If you remember a leak in your roof last season, make sure it’s been taken care of!
3. Install Gutters
Gutters are ideal to pick up unwanted water and drain it off the roof to an area that will not cause your home foundational problems. If you do not have gutters, consider hiring a trusted professional to install them.
4. Prepare for Loss of Power
Lighting strikes can cause power outages. While power usually returns quickly, prepare your home in case of an extended loss of power by keeping flashlights, extra batteries, candles, and matches around your home. Have the phone number of your power company handy so you can check on the status of your power.
5. Label Your Electrical Panel
If a circuit breaker trips during a storm, you’ll want to be able to turn your power back on. Preemptively labeling your electrical panel will help you identify each room and area of your home (even in the dark)!
6. Install a Surge Protector
Consider hiring a professional electrician to hardwire a surge protector directly into your panel or invest in surge protectors around your home. Doing so will ensure appliances and electronic equipment will be safe from damage during outages or surges.
7. Stock Your Disaster Supply Kit
Every house should have a supply kit in case of a natural disaster or emergency. A disaster supply kit should include non perishable food, ample bottled water, sturdy clothing, necessary medication, flashlights, extra batteries, and a first aid kit.
8. Prune Your Trees & Shrubbery
Severe storms can mean intense winds. Prepare before it's too late by trimming any trees that may snap on your home or car in the event of a storm. Tend to larger trees, such as palm trees, with lots of dead fronds as they tend to burn if struck by lightning.
9. Add Drainage Avenues
Add drains to driveways, walkways, sidewalks, and patio to get rid of unwanted water. Water should be diverted away from yours and your neighbors’ homes.
10. Dust Off Dirt
Dust storms can affect more than just cosmetic parts of your home. Change the air filters on your heating and air conditioning appliances, double check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and rise off the outside compressor for your air conditioner.
11. Protect Your Windows
If you have older windows that aren’t made to handle extreme weather, consider investing in storm shutters or replacing your windows for weather-safe options that include double-pane glass. Doing so can create a more secure home shelter.
12. Guard Your Garage
Garages can also take a big hit during storms. Zona Restoration recommends creating a stronger garage door by adding horizontal bracing plates to help minimize damage.
13. Consider Your Car
When not in use, park your car into your reinforced garage to avoid preventable damage such as hail, rain, wind, flying branches, and falling trees. If you are driving, ensure your car is equipped to handle monsoon season.
14. Know Who to Contact
After the sometimes devastating effects of a monsoon, you may be overwhelmed. Proactively make lists of phone numbers for nearby hospitals, family members’ workplaces, family members’ schools, insurance contacts, babysitters, loved ones, and pet-sitters, and place around the house.
15. Stay Current
Forecasters are able to provide highly accurate severe weather warnings. Read weather reports and stay up to date with warnings so you can prepare for any type of adverse weather.
Tips for a Safer Summer Season
Dust storms, wildfires, lightening, extreme heat, flash flooding, and high winds are just some of the various adverse weather conditions during monsoon season. Using these fifteen tips, you can proactively prepare your home and family from the costly damage the monsoon season often brings. Stay alert and stay prepared this summer monsoon season!