Watch CBS News

New York's severe weather season is approaching. How can you protect your home from damage?

How you can prepare your home, property for severe weather
How you can prepare your home, property for severe weather 02:39

UPTON, N.Y. -- What can you do to prepare your home and property for severe weather? Experts from the National Weather Service in Upton, New York shared tips with CBS New York's Vanessa Murdock.

When is severe weather season in the Tri-State Area?

Meteorologist Bill Goodman says peak season runs mid-May through September.  

"We are about to get into the heart of our severe weather season in the New York Tri-State Area," he said.  

What is "severe weather"?

The phrase "severe weather" includes thunderstorms that bring winds of 58 mph or stronger, dump quarter-sized hail (1 inch in diameter or larger) or drop a tornado.

Also included under the severe weather umbrella is flash flooding.

Goodman shares one of the most memorable severe weather events for him -- the Labor Day Derecho of 1998. The long-lived line of intense thunderstorms started in Michigan and plowed across the country.

"Everybody was outside, and there was a lot of damage and a few fatalities," Goodman said.

How can you protect your home from flooding?

For tips to protect your home and property, Murdock met with Servpro Team Spinner owner Karl Spinner. He focused on reducing flood risk.

"You always want to make sure water is going away from the home. You can start at the top with the gutters," he said.

Make sure gutters are clean. Divert downspouts away from the home. Spinner suggests invest in a liquid dam.

"Place it in front of the doorway. As water hits it, it has pellets inside that expand," he said.

If you have a sump pump, clear any debris.

"Make sure you lift the float and the pump turns on," Spinner said.

If you don't have a sump pump, consider getting one. Flash flooding can happen anywhere.

Make sure your sewer clean-out is secure.

"You want to make sure that if the city lines are backing up because of flooding, that nothing comes into your home from here," Spinner said.

Spinner also suggests investing in a small generator. If you do and power goes out, FEMA urges use the generator outdoors and make sure the exhaust faces away from your house.

How can you protect your home from wind damage?

High winds cause significant damage, too, sending trees crashing onto homes.

Jason Reitter, district manager of Davey Tree, says check the integrity of your trees. Grab a sounding mallet and listen, or look for visual cues that could indicate a tree in trouble.

"If you look up in this maple, it's called co-dominant stems ... Typically when we have trees blow apart in these windstorms, that's the union that breaks," Reitter said.

Also look for an unbalanced canopy, a trunk that does not flare but is actually flat or fungus billowing out of the roots or trunk.

If you see any of these signs, give a certified arborist a call before severe weather strikes.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.