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When it rains, it pours! During the spring and early summer months is when the rainy season typically brings the worst upon us. Learn how to prep your home, your car, yourself, and your family for the stormy days ahead with these helpful tips.
Preparing Your Home
As the rainy season kicks off, it’s good to take precautionary measures by inspecting your home and preparing for inevitable leaks.
Inspect your roof for loose or missing shingles and other types of damage that may cause leakage. If leakage does occur, make sure you have a designated bucket or two that will catch plenty of water.
Prior to a storm, it’s important to inspect and clean out gutters. Secondly, inform your city or local Department of Maintenance if you believe your ditch has become clogged or otherwise overgrown. Having your ditch dredged and re-dug fairly regularly will prevent flooding. If you have a drainage grate in your yard or on your street that is slow to drain, contact your Department of Maintenance to have it cleaned out as well.
Another key item to consider is if any trees in your yard have dead or dying branches that may fall and cause damage to your home. If so, cutting down these limbs yourself or hiring help will nip the problem in the bud before they become a much more serious issue. This same advice can apply to trees as a whole in or near your home that may show signs of illness or weakening.
Unfortunately, as your home ages, you will begin to have issues with improper sealing. If your windows gather condensation on the inside, you can see daylight through your exterior doors, or other external forces tend to affect your home, it’s time to have your house inspected. Resealing or even replacing your windows can save you money on energy bills and making sure the weather stripping on your doors are fully intact will keep wind, rain, and even bugs out of your home as well.
Preparing For On-The-Go Days
It’s easy to forget to bring along rainy-day essentials in your car or bag, but checking these off your list will make sure you never have to run through the rain unprotected again.
The first and most obvious item to keep in your car is two umbrellas. Having a small-sized umbrella perfect for just you will make it easy for you to run through a parking lot or tuck away in your bag if you’re popping in the store but a downpour might be coming. Your second umbrella should be much larger and able to cover at least one other person. This will make sharing an umbrella with your spouse, a coworker, or even amongst your children much easier.
Other helpful items to keep in your trunk may be your own raincoat, rain boots, hat, and a towel or two to dry off with if you do end up getting caught in a surprise storm.
As for car maintenance, make sure your tires are still in good condition and have minimal to no wear on the tread, your brakes and smooth and don’t squeak, your headlights and brake lights work, and your windshield wipers are clean and can still repel water.
Preparing Yourself and Your Family
The easiest way to make sure you have everything you need is to run through what you have. No matter how much they protest, having a raincoat or waterproof poncho, rain hat, and properly-fitting rainboots will keep you and your family safe and dry in the rain. For older students, an extra set of these items can be stowed in their school locker or trunk of their car for easy access.
In the event of getting caught in bad weather, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place. Make sure everyone in your family knows where to go during inclement weather at home (the safest option is an interior room with no windows) or when around town (typically a sturdy building with an interior bathroom or storage area).
When in the car during inclement weather, such as a tornado, never hide under an interstate or highway underpass. If you do see a tornado incoming on the road, you have two options. The first is to stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on. Cover your head with your hands and use anything possible to protect yourself from debris like the removable floormats, a coat or jacket, a cushion, or a blanket. Your second option is to pull over near a ditch or dip in the ground, put on your hazard lights, and lay facedown in the grass while covering your head with your hands.
All in all, with these tips, hopefully getting caught in the rain shouldn’t ruin your day. Preparing for the rainy season takes careful planning and consideration on your end, but is absolutely worth it in the end.