Living in North Texas comes with its share of weather challenges. There are those days when you feel like you get all four seasons in a single day. The day can quickly pivot from sunny and clear to severe weather in the blink of an eye. You can’t be ready for everything, but with a bit of preparation and knowledge, you can set yourself up to handle these conditions safely and have peace of mind when dealing with the wild weather of North Texas. 

 

The following advice will be common sense for many long-time homeowners and DFW residents, but many folks have never given thought to how this weather affects them and their homes. Whether you’re dealing with hail, thunderstorms, or the occasional hard freeze, here are some essential tips for new homeowners and residents to keep you and your home safe.

 

Understand Your Weather Threats

Dallas-Fort Worth generally enjoys safe weather conditions, but there are consistent threats at different points throughout the year to be aware of. Recently, we have had a stressful run of severe thunderstorms. These can bring heavy rain, lightning, and strong winds.

 

The occasional thunderstorm will bring with it the ominous tapping of hail upon the roof, windows, and everything else it touches. The threat of hail is most common in spring and summer. In DFW, we live in the tension of being one good hail storm away from an insurance claim for a new roof, plus damage to vehicles and anything else that makes its home outdoors.

 

Though not as frequent as thunderstorms, hard freezes can occur in winter, potentially damaging pipes and plants. As the temperatures start to drop, it’s best to stay ahead of the threat by preparing for these storms before it’s too late or just too uncomfortable to get outside and do the necessary work.

 

Know How to Manually Operate Your Garage Door

Knowing how to manually operate your garage door is crucial if the power goes out and you must leave your home. Here’s how:

  • Locate the Manual Release: Usually a red handle hanging from a cord.
  • Pull Down the Handle: This disengages the door from the automatic opener.
  • Manually Lift the Door: You can now open and close the garage door by hand.
  • Secure the Door: Use the manual lock to secure the door when you leave.

Shut Off Utilities

Knowing how to shut off your home’s utilities can prevent further damage during severe weather.

  • Water: Locate your main water valve, often found near the meter. Have a wrench handy to turn it off if necessary. You may need to purchase a specific wrench or key to have on hand, just in case. Examine your water shut-off promptly so that you’re ready when or if this becomes an issue.
  • Electricity: Familiarize yourself with your breaker panel. Know how to turn off the main breaker or individual circuits to prevent electrical issues during flooding.

Handle Potential Water Damage

During heavy rains or high winds, roofs and windows are vulnerable. Here’s what you can do:

  • Temporary Repairs: Keep tarps, duct tape, and other materials on hand to cover any holes or leaks until professional help arrives.
  • Roof Vents: Ensure caps are secure to prevent water from entering.

Have Emergency Supplies Ready

Preparation is key. Make sure you have the following items readily available:

  • Flashlights and Batteries: Keep extra batteries in an accessible location. To prevent battery drain, place a piece of wax paper between the contacts or store the batteries separately.
  • Water: Stock up on bottled water in case of utility disruptions.
  • Manual Radio: A battery-operated radio can keep you informed if the power and internet are down.
  • First Aid Kit: Always have a well-stocked first aid kit available.
  • Non-Perishable Food: Keep a supply of canned or dried food that doesn’t require cooking.

Safety in Your Safe Room

If you need to shelter in place, choose a safe room wisely. Most of us don’t have a dedicated storm shelter. In that case, identify an interior room that doesn’t touch any exterior walls and has no windows. Also consider these tips:

  • Inward-Opening Door: Ensure the door to your safe room opens inward. This prevents you from getting trapped if debris piles up outside the door.
  • Supplies: Keep water, a manual radio, and flashlights in your safe room.
  • Comfort Items: Consider storing blankets, pillows, and even snacks to make your stay more bearable. This is especially important if you have children.

Regular Maintenance and Checks

Regularly check and maintain your emergency equipment to ensure everything is in working order when you need it most. This includes testing your generator, checking flashlight batteries, and ensuring your first aid kit is fully stocked.

 

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on weather forecasts and alerts. Knowing what to expect can give you valuable time to prepare and take necessary precautions.

By staying prepared and informed, you can handle severe weather in Dallas-Fort Worth with confidence. If you need more resources or have specific questions, feel free to call or text us at the Todd Tramonte Home Selling Team. Your safety and peace of mind are high priorities for our team.