Storm damage mitigation begins at home

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We are thankful no one lost their life this weekend due to the storm activity.

And thanks, also, to the emergency crews that worked hard this weekend and Monday checking on residents and clearing trees from roads.

While this may not be peak tornado season, as temperatures change, residents can expect the usual annual storms and maybe a tornado or two.

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As with most storms, they can come quickly and it’s hard to prepare for them, but planning and risk assessment can make a difference and save home or even a life.

If your home is surrounded by old, stately oaks, you should consider rot testing the trees every so often.

Some tree services use resistographs, devices which can safely determine the soundness of a tree’s core.

Rotten or badly hollowed trees should be removed, especially if they are close to a home. Oaks are beautiful trees, but they’re not worth a hole in the roof.

Also, while fall trimming isn’t recommended, winter trimming is, and homeowners should use the fallow period to remove any dying or dead limbs from their trees.

More generally, it’s always a good idea to keep loose lawn articles like wheelbarrows, chairs and tables secured in a shed or on a porch in case of a storm.

Even if your lawn chair doesn’t go through your window, it could end up hitting your neighbor’s window.

Inside the home, make sure there is a closet or a bathroom or some other safe space—away from windows—where the family can hide in case of a tornado.

Finally, residents should remember to periodically check their flashlights, check their batteries and candles and have a few gallons of water on hand in case of a bad storm.