Why being prepared for the storm could prevent further damage to your property

Well, friends, they are calling it the worst storm we’ve seen in years. Early weather predictions are calling for a total saturation this weekend, beginning as soon as Saturday.  Weather forecasters are calling this weekend’s monster storm an event that could bring the Bay Area the worst flooding we’ve seen in a decade! Great news four our five-year drought, but bad news for those who aren’t prepared for it. Here is a quick checklist on what to do to protect your property and also a few numbers that might come in handy, should you find yourself unprepared and oversaturated.

The biggest problem most homeowners have during a storm is underpreparedness. Little things like clogged gutters or poor drainage can cause big problems. Take the time to remove debris from gutters and apply methods to disperse storm drain run-off so it doesn’t saturate only one area, leading to minor flooding or damage to a nearby structure. Downspout extenders are also a great idea to divert water from your home.

  1. Sandbags: Check with your city’s Public Works Department (listed on the main page of each city’s website under Department) to see if it is dolling out sandbags. If so, the location should be listed. (Bring proof of address). If the city is not providing sandbags, check your local hardware store or Home Depot to purchase. This is a good idea if you are at the bottom of a hill and have an unsealed garage door or front door. Remember that sandbags can also be used to direct the flow of water down the street in a stream-like fashion.
  2. How to use sandbags? Stack them against your home or garage doors and then stomp them into place. They are to be laid like bricks, staggered with its base about two times wider than they are high.
  3. Consider plywood for weak windows, sliders and doors that might blow over or in. Same goes for securing feeble fences or gates. There’s nothing worse than having to run out in the rain and secure it after the damage is done.
  4. Prepare for blackouts: Keep a portable, battery-powered radio handy, along with easy-to-prepare food and water. Keep some candles and firewood handy, too.
  5. For updates, register for emergency alerts via e-mail or text at San Mateo County’s website: www.smcalert.info
  6. If water looks as though it might come inside your home, be sure to elevate your belongings so that the damage doesn’t extend further into your pocketbook. This can be furniture on blocks, beloved rugs pulled up, etc.
  7. Severe storms can cause landslides, flooding, uprooted trees, and downed utility lines. Be sure to keep an eye your neighborhood for any of these things and contact authorities if your sense any danger. Contact your city with any concerns you might have.
  1. Stay home if you can. Driving conditions are always worse during stormy conditions.

While some of these safety ideas might be considered precautions for many of you, it never hurts to be prepared. And also never hurts to stay warm and cozy on a stormy Saturday night, something we have been praying for wince our drought began.

Enjoy the rain!

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