(St. Louis, MO, April 8, 2013) – It has been a long, cold winter for St. Louis’ residents who are beginning to see the early signs of spring. But often with the blooming tulips and budding trees comes severe weather such as hail, thunderstorms, flash floods and tornados. Residents can better prepare their families and their homes for the impending weather by following a few simple steps.
1. Have a Plan
There is nothing more important than having a plan in place. Walk your children through the plan and establish emergency areas (a cross street in the neighborhood or a park) where the family can meet after severe weather to re-establish communication. Make sure everyone knows where to go for safety in case of an emergency. During a tornado, the safest place in a home is the storm shelter or basement away from windows. For homes without a basement, the safest place is a room near the middle of the home without windows such as a bathroom or closet. Quiz your children every six months to make sure they remember what to do.
- Don’t stand next to windows or watch the storm.
- Post emergency telephone numbers next to phones.
- Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services for help.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
- Check that you have adequate insurance coverage prior to a storm.
- Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher and show them where it is kept.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
2. Create a Survival Kit
Your survival kit should include at least two-week’s worth of supplies such as bottled water, dried and canned food, toilet paper, flashlights and batteries, a first-aid kit, prescription medicines, a digital thermometer, blankets, extra clothing, charcoal and propane for your grills, a lighter, lighter fluid and some firewood for staying warm and for cooking.
3. Secure Your Valuables Before a Storm Hits
People often make the mistake of trying to grab their valuables in the midst of a storm. To save time and get to safety more quickly, keep your precious photo albums, family heirlooms, jewelry, computer backups and important paperwork in a safe in the basement or purchase a lockbox at a bank to protect them.
4. Invest in a Generator
Consider purchasing a gas generator to keep your refrigerator and freezers running to protect your food supply if you are without power. Make sure you have plenty of gasoline stored to run the generator, but don’t use the generator in the garage for fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. Buy a power pack for your cell phone and always have it plugged in so it is fully charged and ready to go in an emergency.
5. Secure Large Outside Objects
Any unsecured, large objects outside the home such as patio furniture, potted plants and swing sets can easily become damaging missiles in strong winds. Prior to a storm, move these objects to a secure location if possible.
6. Schedule a House Inspection
Following severe weather, be sure to have your home inspected by a certified contractor to determine if any damage has been done. Identifying and resolving any damage early will prevent more severe damage later on. Olneya offers residents a free Healthy Home visit once a year to survey a home for damage and to ensure that all of the components are working properly according to manufacturer specifications.
Are you prepared for severe weather season?
About Olneya Restoration Group
Olneya Restoration Group, headquartered in Maryland Heights, MO, provides experienced roofing, siding, window replacement, insulation, water removal and drying services, and 24/7 emergency restoration services to homeowners and commercial property owners in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Olneya Restoration Group was recently ranked 608 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America and has received an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. In 2012, Olneya Restoration Group received one of the world’s most coveted business awards – a Gold Stevie Award for Sales and Customer Service. Olneya is a GAF Master Elite Roofer and a Certified Slate Crafter with two HAAG Certified inspectors on staff. For more information about Olneya, visit www.olneya.com or call 855.4.OLNEYA.