DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – According to the National Weather Service, wind storms are responsible for more fatalities in the U.S. than the cold, lightning and hurricanes.
In 2012, high winds were responsible for $4 billion in property damage, $6 million in crop damage, 54 fatalities and 40 injuries.
Esurance.com compiled a list of what homeowners should do ahead of high-wind events.
- Pick up your yard. This sounds like a natural, but walking your yard to make sure any tools, tree branches or other objects are picked up is a must. Even if an item is light weight, it can be blown through a window if winds are strong enough.
- Check trees on your property. Homeowners should consistently inspect trees around their yard, but even moreso if storms are predicted. Some aging trees may show signs of splitting at the top areas of the trunk. You should also search for loose branches or branches with long overhang that may crash onto your house or onto your neighbors property.
- Inspect your roof. Having shingles blown off your roof during a storm can lead to even more serious issues, like water damage as well as structural and property damage. Inspect for damaged or old shingles, debris that may have collected in a corner or gutter, as well as bare spots. Roofing inspectors can give a more definitive inspection.
- Check weather stripping on windows and doors. With wind putting more pressure on doors and windows, this could allow precipitation to enter the house, or allow indoor air to escape. New weather stripping can save money and keep you comfortable during a storm.
- Keep an emergency kit. Storms with high winds are the most likely to cause power outages. These can last days or weeks. Esurance recommends: three days worth of water and nonperishable food for each family member, a manual can opener, hand-crank or battery-power radio, solar chargers for electronic devices, at least one fire extinguisher, and at least one change of clothing for everyone in the home.
- Have important documentation ready. Insurance policies, emergency contact information, indentification for yourself and your family should be where you can easily access them. If your house is damaged, or your power goes out, this is one less thing you have to take care of. You should also check to see if any policies need updated.
- Turn down the fridge and freezer. If power goes out, your fridge and freezer will stop keeping food and liquids cool. Turn your fridge and freezer temperature to a colder setting, and keep the doors closed as much as possible. Some insurance companies have policies that pay for food lost during a weather event.