Power outages, flooding, and fallen trees: it’s that time of the year again. Rainy weather is up ahead, and Claims Journal is already warning homeowners everywhere of what’s to be expected, especially considering the effect that El Nino is having on the weather. According to the report, AIR World noted that two tornadoes in Mississippi were the result of the storm that affected 20 states, with wind gusts growing stronger until they reached the level and power of a hurricane.

The article further adds that this year’s weather conditions might mean a rise in incidents like flooding as well as power outages. Combine that with problems common to homes during the season—and you have a problem on your hands.

Available data says that a mere 27 percent of power outages happen during the first three months of the year. But El Nino is likely to increase those numbers.

Preparing for Winter

Given these predictions, it’s smart to take the necessary precautions to make sure you and your home are safe throughout the season. Here are the 3 S’s you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Seasonal Maintenance: It’s hugely important to have maintenance work done on your HVAC systems regularly, as this will prevent issues in the case of an emergency when it comes to heating or air conditioning. In the case of storms that bring heavy rains and flooding, be sure that you’re prepped for the possibility of water infiltration or damage. And after the storm, don’t hesitate to call for any necessary repairs to your roof. You should also clear your gutters of debris to make sure the drains are clear, says the Insurance Information Institute. Trim your trees and clear branches that might fall on your roof. While those branches might seem light, too much of them, along with the heavy rains, could put an accumulated weight on your roof, straining the material and weakening it.
  • Storm Preparation: Always keep track of weather updates, and be prepared at all times. Know how to manually release your garage openers in case the remote refuses to work. Keep any tools or supplies you may need within easy access range before the storm hits. If a storm is coming, be sure to keep cars away from trees to avoid falling limbs.
  • Supplies: Stock up on essentials like bottled water and non-perishables, and set aside warm clothing and blankets as well. Pack flashlights and batteries into an emergency kit in case of a power outage. Lastly, make sure your pets are safe by bringing them inside the house or putting them into sheltered areas. Fill up their bowls with non-frozen drinking water to keep them from dehydration. Access to a vet might not be possible in a storm, so prepare in any way you can. 

Final Tip

Don’t forget to check your insurance policy. Is your coverage enough? If it isn’t, this might be the best time for you to upgrade your policy or toss it for a new one. Don’t wait until you need it. By the time you do, it might be too late.