No matter where you live, the weather can often pose health and safety risks both to you and your home. Whether you’re preparing for tornadoes, hurricanes, or severe winter storms, there are several ways you can make sure you’re ready if disaster strikes. Extreme weather events can’t always be predicted far in advance, which is why it’s so important for you to take care of your preparedness plan as soon as you can, rather than waiting until it’s too late. If you just moved into a new house or find yourself bracing for extreme weather, read on for five great tips on how you can prepare your home for it.

1. Take care of home maintenance and repairs.


Nothing makes your home more vulnerable than leaving important parts of the structure in poor condition. Outward-facing windows and doors are essential to inspect and repair, if needed, before any extreme weather event. Your gutters should also be cleaned at least twice a year. Any structural vulnerabilities your property has can be exploited and cause severe and extensive property damage that will cost far more to fix than it would’ve cost just to prepare in advance. A home maintenance plan can be a good option for homeowners who need help keeping track of their maintenance needs.

2. Bring outdoor objects inside.


Whether you’re preparing for a hurricane, a tornado, or a brutal winter storm, you likely have items outdoors that could be damaged, or that could damage your home if they were blown away. Lawn furniture, gardening supplies, and any other unsecured objects that a storm could easily dislodge should be either secured or moved indoors. Debris in the yard should also be cleaned up, and any toys or small objects should be brought inside.

3. Plan for the climate you live in.


Every type of storm or natural disaster poses different risks, and you need to make a safety plan based on the problems you’re most likely to encounter. For example, you’ll want to invest in hurricane windows in Miami. Hurricanes, specifically, can be incredibly destructive to your property and your safety, so taking proper preparations in advance is essential if you live anywhere that experiences them with regularity. Impact doors can also be a good idea in areas like South Florida. Most contractors will provide a free quote, so it’s worth having a professional look at your home if you’re considering any home improvement projects to prepare you for an emergency better.

4. Identify the shutoffs for your gas, water, and electricity.


If you aren’t already aware, you need to know how to turn off your utilities. Finding out where the shutoffs are for your gas, water, and electricity should be one of your first priorities when you move into a new home. When it comes to shutting off your gas, it’s best to wait for local officials to issue an advisory, but especially in the case of hurricanes, being able to turn off your water and electricity quickly is essential.

5. Designate a safe place for yourself and your family.


Depending on what risks are posed by the weather you’re preparing for, the safest place in your home may vary. Some natural disasters make being below ground high-risk, while a basement can often be the safest place during a tornado. Research expert advice on what safety precautions you should take at home and what type of space would be the most protective for your family in an extreme weather event. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit, non-perishable food, and basic first aid supplies.

There are few areas of the world where the weather doesn’t post some risks to you and any property you own, making it essential for any homeowner to invest time and effort in protecting themselves and their home. There are several sensible home improvement projects you can take on and upgrades you can invest in to help, from storm windows to impact doors. In addition to taking care of the structural integrity of your property, you should also be sure you know how to shut off your utilities and where to stay with your family during an emergency. While extreme weather can be scary and pose serious risks to your home and your family, the best way to give yourself some peace of mind is to ensure that you’re as prepared as you can be.