Severe weather storms in the Northland are no joke. In Minnesota, every season brings both extreme beauty and the potential for life-changing catastrophe from Mother Nature. With storms comes the likelihood of property loss or damage from weather events.
While today may be sunny with a high of 28 degrees, it’s important to remember that severe weather can strike at any time, and it’s crucial to be prepared. Taking a few proactive steps during calmer times is the key to maintaining your home and family’s safety.
For one, it’s smart to “batten down the hatches” on your home and property before the next thunderhead rolls in. Additionally, secure any loose outdoor furniture or decorations, especially if you live in an area with high winds, like those that can come from a 15 mph southeast wind.
At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we help you protect your belongings before you ever need to file a claim. And, if the worst happens, we’re with you every step of the way through the claims process. Give us a call or stop by for a free insurance review. You will see how we stand up for our neighbors in Cokato, New London, and Wilmar, MN.
Prepping for Severe Weather Storms
Depending on the season, Greater Minnesota can experience significant storms that include:
- Gale-Force Winds
Regularly checking the forecast is critical in staying prepared for severe weather, especially when there is a chance of precipitation. Stay alert and make sure to have a plan in place for what to do in case of an emergency.
If you have outdoor plans, be aware of the forecast and plan accordingly. For example, if the forecast predicts showers after 1pm, plan your outdoor activities for earlier in the day when the weather is more likely to be dry.
Even if there’s only a slight chance of showers, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So take steps to protect your home, like checking your roof for leaks or reinforcing your windows and doors, to prevent potential damage from even the smallest amount of rain.
Now with hot weather approaching, be sure to get ready with these summer weather safety tips.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is the primary structural concern during any storm. Heavy rain, hail, and wind can break off shingles and cause leaks and damage to the roof. Lightning strikes and falling trees create even more risk.
Get ahead of the game by regularly checking your roof from the curbside. Check for loose or peeling shingles, debris piling up, and overhanging tree branches that could fall and cause trouble.
Invest in a professional roof inspection each year to locate any areas of significant wear-and-tear, leaks, or water damage. The expert will likely check for signs of leakage in your attic, on walls, and ceilings. They also may check the stability of your beams and joists.
Your inspector can help you determine whether to repair or replace your roof based on its age and integrity. Making small repairs now can help you avoid more costly damage when the next storm hits.
If you own a business that needs a new roof, consider shingles rather than metal. With shingles, wind damage may only affect a portion of your roof instead of lifting off entire sections.
Trim Your Trees and Shrubs
Severe weather affects not only your buildings and vehicles, but it also can damage trees and shrubs. And those same trees that provide shade to your home on hot days can cause destruction during a storm.
Be sure to do regular maintenance on the trees and shrubs around your home. Keep them trimmed and pruned as needed. Remove dead limbs or trees since they can be safety hazards. Stay safe by hiring a professional tree trimmer to do big jobs or any that require climbing.
Choose Your Landscaping Carefully
Rocks and gravel can become projectiles that inflict even more damage to your home or vehicles during a storm. Softer landscaping materials in your yard make a safer choice during a storm.
Shelter In the Safest Place
For optimal storm preparedness, take the time to identify the safest place in your home to ride out severe weather storms. This spot may be your basement, an under-the-stairs closet, a bathroom, or a central room away from windows.
Check to be sure that everyone in the house knows where the “safe place” is. You should also stock your safe meeting room with emergency essentials like:
- A first aid kit
- A radio with extra batteries to keep up with weather reports and storm warnings
- Non-perishable snacks and foods
- Diapers and formula, if applicable
- Diversions such as playing cards or board games
- A few day’s supply of bottled drinking water
- Any medications you may need
- Pet food, medication, and a litter box
Remember to stay away from windows and doors when the storm arrives. Watching the power of an oncoming storm from your porch can be tempting. But it’s best to find shelter as soon as the weather warnings occur.
Take time to map out a couple of possible “escape” routes for when the storm is over. Thinking this through ahead of time gives you choices. In a severe storm, your normal road could wash out or have fallen trees blocking it.
Secure Heavy Furniture
It’s essential to secure top-heavy items to a wall. Pay attention to:
- Curio Cabinets
- China Cabinets
- Free-Standing Pantry Units
- Storage Cupboards
You can find the appropriate metal brackets and screws at any local hardware store. Be sure to secure the furniture to a wall stud, not just the sheetrock. A stud is the sturdiest attachment point. As always, call a professional if you are unsure how to do this safely.
Communication Is Key
Having a family emergency action plan can help ensure all your loved ones stay safe during a storm. It’s much harder to be strategic when the winds, rain, and flooding begin. Make it a priority to put a clear plan in place and make sure the whole family knows the protocol.
Practicing emergency drills with small children in your home is a great idea during times of calm. And this habit can save lives later. As early as possible, walk your children through how to unlock your phone and dial 911. You can role-play with them how to speak to first-responders.
You can even download an app on your phone to help your children practice dialing 911!
Lake Region Has Your Back. And Your Siding. And Your Roof.
In Greater Minnesota, damaging storms can hit any time of the year with little warning. Taking proactive steps to protect your home and property can save you money, energy, and stress when extreme weather comes.
Protect your home and vehicles with coverage through Lake Region Insurance Agency. You will gain peace of mind with our expert team on your side.
As independent agents, we shop the market for the best coverage to fit your budget and your needs. Call our offices in Wilmar, Cokato, and New London, MN, for a free quote. Get a jump on safety and protection in any Minnesota season.