With severe weather expected Friday, experts said now is the time to prepare your home.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — With some severe weather expected Friday due to Tropical Storm Nicole, experts say you can take some measures to protect yourself and your home.
Bring in outdoor items
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) said it’s important to start bringing in and securing items that could be a hazard when wind picks up. Those items include even things like trampolines that you can stake down, but also holiday decorations.
“If you’ve got inflatables out there, take them down or any of those leftover fall Halloween decorations, maybe some pumpkins or some of those decorative hay bales,” said Dr. Ian Giammanco, the lead research meteorologist with IBHS. “It’s a good idea to move them because they can get blown around or worst case they could hit you or your neighbors house and even crack a window.”
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Check for trees
Officials with Dillon Tree Service said it’s important to be preventative in checking for trees that could cause damage.
Dalton Dillon, the co-owner of Dillon Tree Service, said Hurricane Ian weakened a lot of trees, so that could make them more prone to damage during this storm.
“(Hurricane Ian) caused cracks in trees and people may not be able to see that,” said Dillon. “So what we want to do, we want to look at the ground. Is the ground pulling up around the tree? Are there visual signs of cracks? Anything like that that we can get taken care of before the next storm hits that potentially be even worse.”
Dillon said you can also have a company come to your home and check the property for potential hazards. However, if you wait too long, they may not be able to get to you in time.
“The biggest mistake is normally people just wait too long,” Dillon said. “They wait until just mere days before the storm and by then our work load is so heavy that we are not able to get to everyone before the storm. So try to be preventative in this and give us plenty of heads up when the storm is coming and don’t wait until the last minute.”
Check your garage doors
Dr. Giammanco said garage doors are a weak spot when it comes to storms with heavy winds, so it’s important to make sure they are secured.
“It’s always a good idea check the bolts check the connections on them,” said Giammanco. “If you see some gaps around the edges, maybe that means you need to have somebody come take a look at it and in this case it’s really important to keep it shut.”
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Check gutters and attic
While you should not clean your gutters during rain, Giammanco said it’s important to do before a storm hits. However, he says you can check you attic for leaks to prevent further damage.
“If you’ve got an older roof that’s got older shingles, those become more vulnerable to wind and wind driven rain,” Giammanco said. “So stick your head up there, if you see some tiny leaks and things do your best to try to collect that water so it doesn’t sit on your drywall and your ceiling.”