Spring storms are often a welcome sign of warmer weather returning. However, their volatile nature and rapid temperature changes can cause incredible amounts of damage to homes and properties. In addition to high winds and potential flooding, hail is a common destructive force and the risk of tornadoes also increases.  

While you can’t predict just when a storm might strike or how seriously it may hit your area, there are a number of things you can do to prepare your property for bad weather and lessen the potential impact of the storm.

Most importantly, make sure you and your family are safe and prepared in case you lose power or flooding disrupts water service. Keep several large, closed containers of water stocked somewhere accessible. Five- or 10-liter containers work well. It’s wise to have enough nonperishable food on hand to last as long as three days. Also ensure that you have working flashlights with spare batteries and a small first aid kit handy.

If you’re in an area that experiences severe storms, check to see if there are any local emergency radio stations or even smartphone apps that can keep you updated and help you plan. Always be sure to heed evacuation warnings. Make sure you have a battery-operated radio or precharged USB power chargers just in case you do lose power. For more expensive electronic equipment it’s worth investing in surge protectors. Even if a storm isn’t severe, there’s still a risk of damage if lightning hits too close to your home.

Make sure the trees around your house, particularly large or old trees, have been adequately pruned and that there are no rotten limbs that could be torn loose during a storm. Any large tree close to your house can be a storm hazard, so it’s worth having a professional assess whether any branches need to be cut back or removed. It’s also important not to park cars under trees that could be affected by the storm.

If you know a storm is heading your way, secure any outdoor furniture and make sure your trash cans are out of the wind. If you have animals that can be brought inside or who have their own secure shelter, it’s best to get them settled before the storm starts.

With a little preparation and being aware of any sudden changes in the weather, you should be fine during spring storms.