Hurricane season in North America is typically June through November each year. While the greatest risk of property damage is in the coastal states, the Midwest region and other inland states are still affected by the increased rainfall, strong winds, and sometimes hailstorms.

Prepare your home before the major storms begin and reduce the risk of property damage.

The website, Ready.gov, offers some preparedness tips for your home before the storm arrives. No matter where you live in the country, a strong seasonal storm can cause substantial damage to your home and property. Here are a few tips from their website:

Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.

Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. Other tips are available at their website: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

The Insurance Information Institute offers additional tips in preparing your home and business. Consider the outside landscaping around your building, and replace heavy gravel with shredded bark, which is lighter and causes less damage when blown around. They also suggest making sure exterior doors and windows are rated to withstand high winds.

Other maintenance-type of tasks include sealing cracks around doors and windows; and inspecting the roof for damaged or missing shingles. Many home insurance policies do not cover property damage claims when regular maintenance has been neglected.

Inspect the foundation around your home. Minor cracks here can become larger with high groundwater, flooding conditions, or high winds. Foundation cracks will allow water seepage into the basement, causing leaks and the potential for mold growth.

Consider stacking flood barriers if you live in a high-water area. Sandbags are the least expensive method. There are also absorbent-filled door dams and other barriers that can block certain areas around your home. Standard homeowner insurance doesn’t cover flooding; so, purchasing additional flood insurance may be appropriate, depending where you live.

Store or anchor deck furniture, grills, or other large items used for entertaining outdoors. High winds can make these blow around, potentially breaking windows or damaging siding.

As a precaution, make sure you have a list of emergency numbers and a kit of supplies needed during bad weather conditions. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to be familiar with the procedures for reporting water damage or wind damage claims.

Remember that seasonal storms may require cleanup and repairs that are best handled by a professional team who knows the proper methods to clean and sanitize the area. If your home needs attention, call your insurance company and ServiceMaster Restoration by All Action to help handle the cleanup.