Weathering Spring Storms

Expert advice on what to do before and after emergencies

As we wave goodbye to winter and leap into spring, it’s wise to be weather aware. There is no better time to safeguard our homes against inclement storms and the upcoming hurricane season, which kicks off in June. We asked the experts how best to prepare ahead of time and respond when damage occurs.

Keeping the Lights On

Whole-house standby automatic generators offer excellent protection against power outages. Customers buy generators to power appliances, keep food fresh, ensure the air conditioner runs, and care for elderly family members who rely on medical equipment. The point is to keep families safe and functioning during an emergency.

But how, exactly, does a standby generator work? The units are installed outside on a concrete pad and fueled either through a natural gas connection to your home or liquid propane. “It switches on automatically once a disruption to the power grid is detected, such as a reduction in voltage. Within 20 seconds, the generator restores power to your home’s main circuit, bringing peace of mind,” says Tyler Crowder of Grasten Power Technologies in Conroe.

Generac and other brands are available, and a load calculation is performed to define the usage and determine the needs of each home. “The closer we get to an active storm season, the better it is to plan ahead,” says Crowder. “Once you purchase your generator, lead times for installation can be four to six weeks as we head into the summer.”

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When the Unexpected Happens

When flooding, water damage, fire, biohazards, and other home emergencies arise, companies like SERVPRO step in as the calm after the storm.
“Call us immediately after a loss, and we’ll walk you through the next steps,” says Janét LeGardeur of SERVPRO of Conroe, Lake Conroe/Cleveland, The Woodlands, Magnolia, and SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Houston.

LeGardeur educates and builds awareness about disaster recovery and prevention. “The key is being proactive,” she says.“Keep all of your important documents in one place, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, Social Security cards, and insurance policies. Then you can grab, go, and get out quickly in rising water or a fire.”

Be sure and store important contacts on your cell phone. Add your plumber, HVAC company, insurance agent, electrician, etc., for quick access. Also, take the time to sit down with your insurance agent and go over your policy to ensure your structural and content coverage is appropriate. “And know your deductible,” says LeGardeur.

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Good-to-Know Emergency Resources

“The closer we get to an active storm season, the better it is to plan ahead.” ~ Tyler Crowder of Grasten Power Technologies

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