Minnesota’s storm season can be a nightmare for anybody who isn’t prepared for it. Sometimes even preparation isn’t enough to stop heavy damage, but being ready is essential to mitigate the damages caused due to wind and flooding.
Before you head down into the basement or storm shelter, you will need to take some steps to protecting your family and your home first. Without further delay, let’s now get into some of the most important areas of storm season preparation in Minnesota.
Safety First: Lives are More Important than Property
Let’s first go over a few basic but extremely important storm safety tips that can and will save lives, if practiced with due diligence.
- Follow the radio/TV/internet for constant updates regarding the storm’s path, speed and expected time of arrival
- Prepare a 3 – 7 day supply of non-perishables, pet food, water and medicine for yourself, your pets and everyone else in the family
- Emergency numbers should be written manually on paper, as well as being saved in phones
- Collect all the important documents (social security number, passport, birth certificate, driving license, medical documents, etc.) and store them in sturdy, waterproof packaging
- Flashlights, batteries, chargers, blankets, local maps, emergency kits and survival kits should be stocked up beforehand
- Pick up a significant amount of cash, then store it in waterproof packaging
- Multiple power banks should be fully charged and stored, to be used sparingly for charging one or two smart devices in case the power goes out
Reinforce and Protect Your Home in Advance
Before you head inside and under with your family, you must first secure your home as best as possible against the incoming tornado. It needs to be able to hold the onslaught of a spiraling thunderstorm that can easily reach speeds above 200 miles per hour on average, with a span that could spread for nearly a mile!
With that in mind, each of the following steps are absolutely crucial to ensuring that you actually have a home left to live in after coming out of the storm shelter.
- Take a look around your property and see if any tree branches are sticking out ominously over the roof. Saw off dead branches, move your vehicles to a safer spot, and trim any branches that could potentially cause severe damage
- From lawn furniture to gardening and barbecue equipment, a tornado can throw them all at furious speeds. Put all loose items inside to both protect them and to stop them from becoming damaging, deadly projectiles
- Clean the gutters, repair the roof, and reinforce all doors, windows, the roof and maybe even the walls, if necessary
- Seal all cracks and gaps (attic, basement, window – wall gaps, etc.) with caulk to prevent flood damage
- Call in experts well before the storm hits, so that they can do emergency repairs to increase the storm resistance of your property
The Steps to Take After the Storm Passes
The storm passing doesn’t mean that’s the end of your problems as flooding is a common occurrence in Minnesota after a tornadoe. The very first step to take would be to call the authorities and ensure that it’s actually safe to go out. If and when the green flag is given, come out of your shelter carefully, one person at a time. Children and older adults should come out after the younger adults have checked for possible dangers such as torn, live wires, hanging branches etc. first. Next, it’s time to create a damage checklist which will include all damages, if and where they have been caused to your property on account of the storm. It may take a few days to get all the doors, windows, walls, roofing, etc.
checked out, or you could call in a professional team to do it for you. Either way, you will need photographs and videos for claiming on your insurance and getting the repairs done in time before the next tornado hits.
Although it sounds scary on paper, it has been years since Minnesota has seen a lethal tornado. Nevertheless, property damage is very common in the state, and being ready for storm season in advance can minimize your risk of problems.