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April 21, 2017

How To Bird-Proof Your Windows

If the eyes are the window to the soul, your windows are surely the soul of your home. Whether you’ve got wide bay windows with a stunning backyard view, casement windows that make it easy to flood your home with a fresh breeze, or a protruding garden window perfect for up-close wildlife interaction, your home’s windows are your link to the magnificent outdoors just on the other side of the glass. Unfortunately, the bird population doesn’t feel quite as charmed about your windows. In fact, an estimated one billion birds die each year in the US alone from window collisions. To birds in flight, a window is an optical illusion. They don’t see the panes of glass [...]

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July 20, 2016

How to Prepare Your Home for Severe Weather, Thunderstorms, and Lightning

Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs. Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A severe thunderstorm watch is issued when a severe thunderstorm is likely, and will include information on when and where it might occur. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been indicated by radar or reported by storm spotters. In both cases, be alert for further developments and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, a local radio station, or television for information.

If you have a smartphone, look into downloading one of many apps available to provide warnings about severe weather or other local alerts directly to your phone. These apps tend to be regional in nature, so do some [...]

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July 20, 2016

How to Prepare Your Home for a Wildfire

Fire Weather Watch

If a fire weather watch has been issued, then weather that would enable a wildfire is possible over the next 12 to 72 hours. Turn on your TV and/or radio to listen for updates, or keep your phone handy and turned on if you have an emergency alert app. Be aware that the power might go out, so you need a way to stay informed regardless. Be prepared to evacuate if a wildfire is spotted. Research and learn your evacuation routes in advance, and share your planned routes with family and friends. Keep your phone charged, your car fueled, some cash on hand, and keep emergency supplies, medications, important documents, and a change of clothes in your car. If an evacuation [...]

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July 20, 2016

Getting Your Home Ready for the Big Snowstorm

Storm Prep Saves You Time, Hassle, Dollars, and Serious Inconvenience

As we settle in for what may or may not be the snowstorm of the century (again), it makes perfect sense to review the basics of how to prepare for a blizzard. There are several things you can do to get yourself, your family, and your home ready to ride out the storm itself, and any inconveniences that may follow. As we all know, the big issues with major winter storms are the snow and ice that trap you in your home and bring down trees, impacting the local utility’s ability to deliver electricity, and the temperatures that can freeze and rupture pipes, causing flooding. Here is a quick list of how to prepare [...]

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July 20, 2016

How to Prepare Your Home for a Drought

Before a Drought

Most methods of preparing for a drought focus on water conservation and on minimizing the impact that a drought will have on your home. Many of these suggestions can also help lower your water bill.

Indoors Get into the habit of not wasting water by pouring it down the sink. Instead use it to water your plants. Repair dripping faucets. A faucet dripping at one drop per second will waste 2,700 gallons of water a year. Check your plumbing for leaks at least once a year. Call a plumber to repair any leaks. Install aerators with flow restrictors on all faucets in your home. Install an instant hot water heater for your sink. Insulate your water pipes. This [...]
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July 16, 2016

Hurricane Preparedness, What you need to Know

Note: Part of hurricane preparedness is knowing the risk factors. If you are in an area where flooding is possible, you will also want to read up on preparing for a flood

Hurricane Watch vs. Hurricane Warning

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours of the warning being issued. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours of the warning being issued.

Well Before Hurricane Season

In the United States, hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. Well in advance of that time, make certain that your insurance is up-to-date and comprehensive. Your insurance policy will need to be [...]

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July 13, 2016

How to Prepare Your Home for a Tornado

Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning

A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop. Tornado watches typically cover a large area.

A tornado warning means that either a tornado has been spotted or that weather radar has indicated that a tornado is likely. If a tornado warning has been issued, get to shelter immediately.

Well Before Tornado Season

Make certain that your insurance is up-to-date and comprehensive. Your insurance policy will need to be updated if you have changed, added, or removed anything structurally about your home. Make or update an inventory of all contents of your home and store it either online or in a secure place outside [...]

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July 13, 2016

Preparing for Floods

When my husband and I first moved into our condo we had heard that the area was prone to flooding, but we didn’t worry about it too much. After the first major rain storm that we weathered in our new home, though, we definitely realized that flooding isn’t something to gloss over. As I stood on our porch and looked out over the park turned pond across from us, I was somewhat stunned–we had unknowingly bought a waterfront property. While we are lucky to be on the second floor of our building, some of our friends who owned houses with basements were not so lucky.

Floods can be particularly scary as a homeowner as they happen fast and can cause major damage, which can [...]

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