Now that spring has officially sprung in Wisconsin, the NSSL (National Severe Storms Laboratory) says thunderstorms can wreak havoc in a moment’s notice. These storms can bring with them the chance for tornados, lightning strikes, hail damage and flash flooding. Being aware of the dangers and preparing in advance can help minimize property damage and prevent personal injury. Let’s cover the Top 4 Severe Storms, what can happen and how you can prevent/minimize property damage from each threat.

1. Lightning Damage
Lightning strikes can cause a wide range of damage – here’s just some of what lightning can do
to buildings and property:

  • Short out power to surge protected equipment.
  • Completely fry any electronics plugged into outlets at the time of the strike.
  • Start fires
  • Cause structural damage at the point of impact.

If a person is struck by lightning it can cause all kinds of internal damage, up to and including death!

How we can minimize/prevent damage:

  • Make sure all your important electronics are either unplugged during a storm or plugged into a surge protecting device.
  • A lightning rod on your roof may help if your home is the tallest object in a large area as your roof will be a natural grounding point for lightning.
  • Test smoke detectors regularly, this is your best defense in case of any type of fire!
  • Seek shelter if there is an approaching storm in a structure, standing under a tree increases your odds of being struck by lightning.

2. Tornado Damage
Strong storms can also bring high winds and tornadoes, let’s look what they can create:

  • High winds can cause trees to fall.
  • Outbuildings can collapse from high winds/tornados.
  • Patio furniture and outdoor items can be blown into buildings causing damage.
  • Tornados can cause minor damage to complete devastation, depending on where they strike.
  • With winds in excess of 110 mph even common items become deadly projectiles.

How we can minimize/prevent damage:

  • Store all patio furniture and loose items when storms are predicted.
  • Maintain trees by keeping dead or dying limbs trimmed so they do not become a hazard in the high
    winds or tornados.
  • Always immediately seek shelter when tornado sirens sound, do not stay in your vehicle unless it is the only option – even lying face down in a ditch is preferable to staying in your car! Minor injuries to great bodily harm can occur if you are not sheltered in place when a tornado hits.

3. Flood Damage
Spring storms always have the potential to drop large amounts of rain in a short period, some of the issues that can be created by this are:

  • Flash flooding creates flooding in streets, basements and business.
  • Overload of storm runoff systems causes back-ups in basements.
  • Power outages create sump pump failures.
  • Minor roof maintenance issues can now create leaks inside homes and businesses.

How we can prevent/minimize the damage:

  • Makes sure our gutters and downspouts are free and clear, that water can run off and away from your property. If you move the sump pump discharge hose when you cut the grass don’t forget to put it back or the water will run right back into the system!
  • Test your sump pump to ensure that it is working and ready to go.
  • If you are concerned with power outages, invest in a battery back-up system. This will make sure your sump pump is running even when the power is out to the rest of your home keeping your basement safe and dry.
  • Store personal property in plastic sealable totes instead of cardboard boxes.
  • If you have the space store totes on pallets so they are not directly on the floor.
  • Raise washer/dryer, water heater and furnace 4 or 5 inches off the floor. In case of flooding, this potentially could save these large ticket items.
  • If your basement floods more than 8” do not go into the water! Especially if the power is still on and the water is over the outlets as electrocution is very probable. You should not walk in this water barefoot either as it can contain microbes and viruses that can make you very sick.

4. Hail Damage
The NOAA says that there is at least 1 Billion in hail damage per year. From cars to properties to crops and more, here’s what we see as damage from hail:

  • Broken windows and damaged siding.
  • Damage to roofs.
  • Damage to garage doors.
  • Damage to front doors and awnings.

How we can prevent/minimize the damage:

Unfortunately, with hail there really isn’t a whole lot that can be done. Make sure your vehicle is parked in the garage, bring in all patio furniture and loose yard toys, and seek shelter as hail can cause injury if the pieces are large enough! Accent Property Restoration is a full-service restoration company, we can help mitigate the damage with our board-up, tarping and water extraction services, we can itemize and clean your personal property and complete the reconstruction of your home or business. We work with all major (and most minor) insurance companies. If you feel you have any of these issues give us a call BEFORE you file a claim, ensuring you have a free inspection. Our free inspection ensures if you need to make a claim and if you do, you have all of the information when contacting to insurance company. Please contact our office at 262-293-2646 or my cell 414-333-3727 for immediate assistance today!

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