The west coast experiences more severe winter weather than nearly any other area in the nation. During the winter season, the western area of the United States can be dealt a nasty hand of flooding, harsh winds, and mudslides. Although snow isn’t necessarily a large issue, there’s more to winter than frozen rain. Below, are the five things you can do to prepare your home on the west coast for the upcoming winter weather.
1. Preparing Your Home for a Flood
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, you should follow these tips to prepare your home for a flood:
- Clear any debris from your gutters and/or downspouts
- Maintain your sump pump and install a battery backup in the case of a power outage
- Anchor fuel tanks
- Move valuables to a safe place
- Keep electrical components and appliances at least 12 inches above your house’s floor elevation
2. Emergency Supply Kits
It’s important that you have an emergency supply kit in your home and vehicle in case of an emergency. You can view examples of these supply kits at Ready.gov. You should also ensure you have you and your family’s medication pre-loaded with your emergency supply kit. For pet owners, you can get a full list of supplies from the Red Cross website.
3. Staying Safe During a Flood
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, you should follow these tips to stay safe during a flood:
- Seek higher grounds and avoid all areas that are at a higher risk of flooding
- If your home starts flooding, go to your top floor of your home, attic, or roof
- Don’t try walking across flooded streams or flooded roadways
- Turn off your main power and close your main gas valve
- Turn on and listen to a battery-powered radio for updated storm and flood information
- If you’ve touched floodwaters, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
4. Landscape Preparation
To prepare for flooding, you should consider installing mudslide mitigation around your home. You should also plant trees to help stabilize hillsides. Although this can take a large amount of both time and money, it’s well worth it for your property.
5. Vehicle Safety
Believe it or not, more people die in their vehicles in a flood than anywhere else. Keeping this in mind, do not drive through flood water. Not only is it dangerous for you and your vehicle, but other people on the road as well. If you’re away from home and are in your car, it’s important to consider the hazards you may be exposed to in a flood. Remember, if you’re on the road during a flood, do everything you can to return home.
In the case of a landslide in your local area, it’s important to properly evacuate your home into your car and to a safer location. Knowing this, it’s important that you don’t put off your vehicle’s maintenance until the last minute. You should also consider regularly maintaining your tires and considering purchasing a four-wheel drive vehicle if you don’t currently own one.
Hopefully, you don’t face too severe winter weather this year in your west coast home, but no one knows what’s to come. This is why it’s so crucial to be well prepared at all times. Hopefully, with the help of our tips above, you can better prepare yourself, your home, and your vehicle for the severe weather to come.
If you’d like to learn more about home inspections or request an inspection for a newly built or a resale home, please visit the HomeTeam Inspection website.