These simple reminders can help you keep your property safe from damaging winds.
Extreme weather events are increasing in both frequency and intensity and for some places, that means an increased risk of damaging winds.
This year, for example, El Niño, is in place for the first time in five years, driving significant climate changes across much of the U.S. El Niño is when a large part of the Pacific Ocean along the equator warms up. The water at the surface becomes warmer than normal spurring numerous storm systems. Widespread damaging wind is a top threat from many of these unique weather patterns.
While there is little you can do to change the weather, there are steps you can take to help protect your vehicle and your home from damaging winds.
Protect Your Vehicle from Damaging Winds
- Choose Safe Parking Spots
One of the simplest yet effective ways to protect your car from wind damage is to park it in a secure location. Look for parking spots that are sheltered from strong winds, such as garages, covered parking areas, or areas shielded by buildings or natural barriers. Avoid parking under trees, power lines, or in low-lying areas (in case of flood). If you do not have a garage, move your car to higher ground or park it tight against the house to provide some deflection of wind away from your car.
- Invest in a Car Cover
A sturdy car cover can provide an additional layer of protection against wind-driven debris and flying objects. Choose a cover made from durable materials like polyester or polyethylene. Secure the cover tightly to your car to prevent it from being blown away by high winds.
- Secure Loose Items
Before parking your car in an exposed area, ensure any loose items, such as trash cans, garden furniture, or outdoor decorations, are properly secured or stored away. These objects can become projectiles in strong winds, causing significant damage to your vehicle or someone else’s.
- Inspect and Maintain Your Car
Regular vehicle maintenance is essential to ensure its structural integrity and resilience against wind damage. Inspect your car for any signs of wear and tear, such as loose panels, worn weather stripping, or damaged seals, and promptly address any issues to prevent wind from entering the vehicle and causing further damage.
Protect Your Home from Damaging Winds
- Trim Trees and Branches
Overhanging branches and tall trees near your home can pose a significant risk during windy conditions. Trim back branches and remove any dead or weakened trees that could potentially fall and cause damage to your property.
- Secure Outdoor Furniture and Objects
Anchor down outdoor furniture, grills, and other movable objects to prevent them from becoming projectiles in high winds. Store lightweight items such as lawn ornaments, potted plants, and garden tools indoors or in a secure storage shed during severe weather events to minimize the risk of damage to your home and surrounding property.
- Seal Exterior Openings
Seal exterior openings such as doors, windows, vents, and utility penetrations to prevent wind-driven rain and debris from entering your home. Use weatherstripping, caulking, or sealants to create a tight seal around doors and windows and install protective covers or screens over vents and openings to minimize water infiltration and reduce the risk of wind damage.
Stay informed about weather forecasts and warnings in your area, especially during periods of high wind activity or severe weather events. By implementing these simple preventive measures, you can effectively protect your vehicle from wind damage and minimize the risk of costly home repairs during severe weather events.