How to Prepare for Thunderstorms
Storm damage is a fact of homeownership and with thunderstorms predicted for most of the week, now might be a prudent time to take stock of what you can do to protect your home from potential damage.
In the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent area, the average annual number of thunderstorms range from 30-33, the highest in all of Canada.
That’s a lot of severe storms that have the chance to damage your home and property every year. Whether its debris strewn throughout the yard or fallen trees, at some point in your homeownership experience, you will likely clean up after a storm. While you can’t control Mother Nature, you can take steps to better shield your home from the effects of bad weather.
A serious storm can impact your home in a few ways:
Wind damage. Wind causes over half the damage that takes place in a severe storm. Anything in the path of a strong wind gust or a tornado is vulnerable to impact from wind-propelled debris. Even smaller storms that produce derechos – strong straight lines of wind ahead of storms – can produce hurricane-force winds of 75 miles per hour or more in a short timeframe.
Lighting damage. Lightning damage is less common than wind damage, but it can be costly to repair. Lightning-driven insurance claims average at least $4,234 per claim. Strikes directly to your home can severely damage your electrical systems and ruin unprotected appliances if there’s a surge.
Hail damage. Any uncovered structure, object, or person is susceptible to damage or injury during a hail event. Large hail can easily break windows and damage roofs.
Flood damage. Heavy downpours can inundate the ground and lead to flash flooding. Of the damage a storm can cause, flash flooding costs the most. An inch of standing water costs $23,635 for repairs to the home alone.
You can’t prevent storm damage, but you can reduce its impact on your home:
Be prepared. Strong winds can turn any loose object into a projectile, so secure the space around you. Store grills and lawn furniture when not in use. Prune large trees around your home to prevent falling limbs that could roofs and windows. Invest in a lightning rod for your home to lower the likelihood of lightning strikes, and move your vehicles into a garage or covered parking if you can. Lastly, unplug electronics when a storm sets in if you don’t have surge protectors.
Stay safe. Make sure your family has a safety and evacuation plan in place to protect yourselves from injury during a storm. Identify a safe room in the house where you can huddle through high winds. Make sure this space is away from windows and located in a structurally sound part of your building, such as a closet or basement bathroom.
Revisit your policy. Home insurance plans cover most of the damage outlined here, including damage from wind, lightning, hail, and fallen trees. However, home insurance doesn’t necessarily cover flood damage. When in doubt about what your insurance covers, give one of the brokers or CSRs at DPM Insurance Group a call. They would be pleased to perform a policy review and ensure you have the level of protection that gives you peace of mind when the thunder starts to roll.
Source: Kin Insurance