Preparing for Strong Storms in West Virginia
Inclement weather puts everything you own on the line. While it’s important to consider the strength of a storm before you start to worry, having an action plan can help you protect your belongings, your home’s architecture and other investments.
Learning how to prepare for a strong storm can save you from stress during an actual event. With this guide, you can figure out exactly how prepared you are for rain, snow, winds and anything else the forecast brings in your direction.
The Importance of Being Prepared for a Storm
Strong storms move quickly, but homeowners can acquire supplies and resources for comfort and safety long before the weather rolls in. Making stops at the grocery or hardware store as soon as you hear about inclement weather gives you an advantage over those who wait.
The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by a severe storm. Sudden power outages, flooding and other emergencies put your family at risk of getting hurt or going days without food and water. Being proactive about storm preparation could potentially save you from financial and emotional burdens down the road.
How to Prepare for Strong Storms Near Parkersburg, West Virginia
West Virginia sees all that summer, fall, winter and spring have to offer. If you live near Parkersburg, you know just how the climate can change from mild conditions to below-freezing temperatures in a matter of months. Taking the time to prepare for common storms looks different based on what season you’re in. The details below will help you cover all your bases:
How to Prepare for a Hail Storm
Hail is a form of precipitation. When thunderstorm clouds emerge, water droplets are exposed to intense updrafts. These winds can lift water droplets to elevations with below-freezing conditions, where they turn into hailstones. Once the ice crystals are too heavy for the updrafts to move, the hailstones fall to the ground, causing destruction to roofing, vehicles and fences.
Your local weather station will tell you when there is an increased chance for a hail storm. Follow these guidelines to keep your family and belongings out of harm’s way:
- Park vehicles in a covered garage.
- Place outdoor tools inside a shed.
- Relocate potted plants, yard decorations and furniture.
- Pull curtains shut to prevent glass from shattering indoors.
Always stay inside during a hail storm. Be sure you are off the road at the time a strong storm will pass through.
How to Prepare for a Strong Thunderstorm
All thunderstorms have one thing in common: they produce lightning. Preparing for a thunderstorm should involve looking at your property to see anything that might cause a problem if winds pick up. One of the best ways to protect your home during a severe thunderstorm is to trim tree branches, so nothing sits directly over your roof. Heavy branches that fall can remove shingles or puncture holes in insulation.
Be sure to secure loose objects around the yard. This might include outdoor grills, yard games, birdhouses, wind chimes and fire pits. These items can easily blow against your home’s siding or break windows. If you have neighbors, check to see they are following the same protocols.
If you are outside during a thunderstorm, stay away from metal objects and find overhead coverage immediately.
Preparing for Tropical Storms
Parkersburg may not be in the line of fire for hurricanes, but West Virginia can sometimes see the aftermath of tropical storms hitting the East Coast. West Virginia is considered a landlocked state. However, severe rain and winds can affect residents from May through November.
Before a Tropical Storm Strikes
Make an emergency kit with common supplies you’d need in case of a power outage. It’s recommended to have multiple flashlights, bottled water, non-perishable snacks and a first-aid kit. Some homeowners go as far as purchasing backup generators to keep the air conditioning system and kitchen appliances running when needed.
It’s a good idea to have a full tank of gas in your car before a tropical storm. If you are required to evacuate the area, this is one less obstacle you have to worry about. Additionally, clear your yard and be sure you know how to turn off your home’s power. This will help you prevent damages to electrical systems in case water reaches your property.
Staying Safe During a Tropical Storm
You can follow several safety tips while waiting out a tropical storm:
- Stay out of floodwaters.
- Keep your vehicle away from flooded areas.
- Report any broken power lines you see in the neighborhood.
- Discard any foods that come in contact with floodwaters.
- Turn on a battery-powered radio to hear updates from local news sources.
How to Prepare for a Tornado
Tornadoes are rare in Parkersburg, but they can still happen. Having a battery-operated device like a portable television or radio is helpful for tracking tornadoes. You should have a safe shelter area set up with plenty of food and water during a tornado warning. Ideally, you and your family should move to a basement or a room without windows. Take shelter and have pillows, blankets or sleeping bags available to cover yourself from flying debris.
Getting Ready for a Winter Storm
Strong winter storms can bring several inches or multiple feet of snow. Winter emergencies like blizzards are powerful enough to limit visibility, cover vehicles and create icy conditions.
Preparing for a winter storm near Parkersburg is something to take seriously. Consider the details below to plan for winter weather:
- Buy durable shovels before the storm.
- If you have a snowblower, check that it has oil and fuel.
- Cover your driveway and sidewalks with road salt.
- Allow faucets to drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Purchase enough food to last you a minimum of three days.
After a winter storm passes, walk around the outside of your home to spot anything out of the ordinary. You can reach out to the professionals at Drake’s Construction & Restoration to help you with any issues you may have.
Contact Drake’s Construction & Restoration for Preventive Emergency Response Services
Drake’s Construction & Restoration helps those around Parkersburg, West Virginia, with various projects. We handle emergency repair services and will also help prepare your residential space for storms before they hit.
We do everything in our power to help you plan for the unexpected. From boarding up windows to covering your home’s exterior with tarps, our team goes above and beyond to minimize storm damages across most of the Mid-Ohio Valley Region.
Contact us today for more information about what we can do for you