Sunday, 10 September 2017 12:15

Six Steps for Homeowners to Prepare for the Storm

irma prep blog

Keeping your home, family, and property safe during tropical weather begins with proper preparations. Whether you live in a manufactured home or a stick built unit, Hurricane Irma is certainly something you should be watching closely. Its exact path will not be clear till at least after it makes landfall in southern Florida as a category 4 storm. We will see some impacts in the Asheville area, beginning as early as Monday evening and lasting through Tuesday.

The Asheville area’s mountains and terrain add some concerning components to tropical storm conditions. We are susceptible to landslides and flash flooding, and the higher elevation areas in the mountains may be impacted by even gustier winds that those lower inland areas. In this article, we will discuss six tips for protecting your home and property during tropical weather in Asheville, NC:

1) Listen to and Watch Updated Weather Reports

Heavy rain and gusty winds can reach well inland during hurricanes and tropical storms. Even if Irma is downgraded to a tropical depression, she will still bring significant rainfall rates that will differ significantly with the varying terrain of western North Carolina. Winds will gust to 40 mph or higher, especially in the mountains. Remaining vigilant and weather-aware is key to protecting your home and family. Key steps for knowing what to expect include.

Follow our local meteorologists, Jason Boyer in Asheville, Brad Panovich in Charlotte, and Christ Justus in Greenville. They are excellent scientists and will keep our area updated throughout the event. You can watch them on local television stations and follow them on social media.

2) Remain Weather-Aware, Whether You are Home or Away

The forecast for this storm will change throughout the event, even as it begins. Intensity of showers and winds will fluctuate as well. Whether you are at home, or you must travel, it is important to take precautions:

  • Where is the Storm Moving? We will not know the exact track of the storm until it is upon us. Pay close attention to the storm at large, as well as the movement of individual bands within it. Do not let your guard down until the threat has completely passed.
  • Keep a Battery-Powered Radio: If winds are intense, power may fail. It is important to keep a battery-powered radio handy. If you are at home, make sure the radio is tuned to a station that will update you with alerts and weather news.
  • Consider a NOAA Weather Radio: NOAA radios broadcast alerts issued by the National Weather Service. They also consistently update forecasts and current weather conditions for your area.
  • Stay Off the Road, If Possible: During tropical weather events, conditions will change rapidly throughout the event. If you must travel, make sure you are aware of what weather to expect while you are out. Flash flooding can happen quickly. Turn around, don’t drown.

irma storm distance

3) Prepare Your Gutters and Roof

If your gutters are clogged, water will drain poorly from the roof to the ground, which could lead to damage and flooding. Poor gutter drainage can even lead to flooding in your basement and crawlspace. Furthermore, if your roof is missing shingles previous storm damage, water can leak into your attic. Mold can occur within 48 hours of water damage, so make sure your gutters and roofing is ready for the storm.

4) Bring Deck and Yard Furniture Inside

We expect 40+ mph wind gusts, even if Irma is downgraded to a tropical depression. That is plenty of wind to blow around lawn furniture and decorations. These objects can damage your home, break windows, and ruin your neighbors’ day as well. Bring lawn and garden furniture and decorations inside, before the winds take them away.

5) Examine Your Property for Potential Hazards

Identifying key problem areas around your home and yard before the storm can help prevent damage when winds gust and threaten to blow down small trees and limbs. Check your yard for various hazards, including:

  • Weak tree limbs
  • Dead trees
  • Poor drainage areas in your yard
  • Cracked or broken windows
  • Loose or broken storm doors

6) Pack Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

If the power goes out for an extended period of time, it will be important to have a well-stocked, accessible emergency preparedness kit, which should include:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Candles and matches (always practice fire safety)
  • Blankets
  • Nonperishable food
  • Bottled water
  • Battery-powered AM/FM radio
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Board games, books, etc.

Homeowners should keep a weathered eye on this storm, but there is no need to panic in our area. Remaining vigilant and weather-aware is key. Our neighborhood, Wellington Estates, is one where neighbors can count on each other to assist in every facet of preparation and recovery. To find out more about affordable homeownership in our kid-friendly community, contact us.