OKLAHOMA – Spring brings warmer weather and blooming plants, but as many Oklahomans know, it can also bring serious storms. Prime conditions for tornadoes and severe thunder storms begin around late March and go all the way through the summer. In order to keep your home and family safe during storm season, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance has tips to prepare your home before the wind and rain start.
“Living in Oklahoma means being prepared for all sorts of weather, including storms that could damage property,” said Gary Buckner, executive vice president and general manager of Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies. “Preparing in advance for severe weather can help protect your home and ensure the safety of everything inside it.”
Here are some ways that you can get your home ready for spring weather:
Identify any existing issues. Have your home inspected for issues that could make it more prone to weather-related damage. Your roof should be checked for missing shingles that could lead to leaks during April showers. Loose siding should be reinforced. Additionally, don’t forget about the trees and shrubbery in your yard, as dead or weak branches may fall onto your home during a storm. If you use rock or gravel for landscaping, consider replacing it with mulch, which will not damage windows if blown around in high winds.
Prepare a tornado kit. Every household should have an emergency kit for tornado conditions that includes: battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, phone charger, water, first aid kit and sturdy shoes and other items that are important to your family. It can also be helpful to keep handy and secure any important paperwork, identification and insurance information in case of emergency.
Use surge protectors and unplug devices. During a lightning storm, power surges can cause tremendous damage to electronics, appliances, air conditioning and heating units. Surge protectors will help to block unwanted voltages above a safe threshold when there are downed power lines or lightning. Even with surge protectors, the safest thing to do during a storm is to unplug electronic devices such as televisions and computers.
Consider investing in garage door braces and roof clips. A garage door brace typically runs $100 to $200, but may be a good investment in tornado-prone areas. The brace keeps the garage door from blowing in or away during extreme wind. Roof clips similarly secure the roof against winds. These can cost as little as a dollar each but may require professional installation.
About Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Companies
Since 1946, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Companies have worked to maintain the position as the leading Oklahoma-based insurance company for Oklahomans from all walks of life. The company protects Oklahomans in all 77 counties from the risks they face every day, and because each agent lives and works in Oklahoma, they are present when needed most. Oklahoma Farm Bureau is committed to helping the more than 140,000 member families to ensure Oklahoma’s financial strength today and in the future.
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