Opinions on storms are divided. While some people hate them and find them scary affairs that ruin any chances of a nice day out, others find them a great excuse to stay in and enjoy the sound of the rain on the roof. Watching a storm from indoors can be exciting and can make you feel very snug and warm by the fire or under a blanket on the sofa…
But this latter view is only possible if you do feel safe in your home, and if you feel as though your home is able to stand up to the barrage that will be caused by a storm. Here we will look at how you can make some changes around your home that will keep you safe and dry and defend you against the rain and the thunder…
One of the big dangers of a large storm is that a tree can blow over and land on your roof. This is only really a problem of course if you happen to have a large tree growing near your home, so if there's one growing in your garden then consider cutting it shorter to reduce your chances of having it come through the roof. Likewise you should cut off any large branches.
Clear the Gutters
This is very important: if you don't clear gutters before a storm then they will overflow and the water will run down the side of your house, leaving streaky marks and potentially making your property cold and damp. Further, if your gutters are covered in leaves then the water can pool in those eaves troughs and cause them to eventually come away from the walls. Make sure your gutters are clean before a storm then, and better yet, consider installing gutter guards that will prevent more leaves and debris from getting in there.
Secure the Roofing
If you have any cracks or leaks in your roofing, or if the tiles are already looking loose, then a storm can be devastating for your roof and end up scattering it around your garden and opening you up to all that torrential rain. Any work you've been putting off doing on your roof should be prioritised when you know there's a storm coming…
Secure Your Fences
This is less important, but unless you want to share gardens with your neighbours, it's also worth securing your fences which often get ripped out of the floor during a storm. Replace them now, or at least prop them up with some spare pieces of wood.
Dogs and Children
There are probably some people in your family who won't love the sound of the storm outside. In particular I'm talking about your pets and your children who might be scared of the noise and the commotion.
With regards to your dogs, it can help to provide a few sedatives. It might seem cruel, but in the long-term it's much safer and better for your carpet. For children, make sure you explain that there's nothing to be worried about and that you have a distraction prepared like a good film.
If you have anything else outside that you don't want to get ruined then you might consider moving it under cover or bringing it indoors. A good example is your car – which can be ruined by a heavy downpour of hail and is better off in your neighbour's garage if they don't mind. You can also pin down anything that you're afraid will blow away by placing heavy rocks on it.
Now I don't want to be morbid, but even after checking these things you still can't be certain that nothing will go wrong. Make sure your home and contents insurance is up to date and covers you against storms, and also have the number ready of a service that can help you with storm damage should you need it.
Now baton down the hatches, get out a good film and hide under a blanket!
Nancy Baker, the author of this post, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for CareMaster, providers of reputable water damage services. She is passionate about cycling and is always looking to help amateur riders. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.