Storm Risk Information: Learn how storms could impact your home

Weather is unpredictable and, in many parts of the country, can change in an instant. Severe storms can happen during any season, so it’s important to prepare your home for major weather events to prevent damage and avoid costly home repairs.

Using information from First Street Foundation and ClimateCheck, to provide comprehensive climate risk information for every zip code, neighborhood, city, and county in the contiguous U.S.

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Storm Risk Frequently Asked Questions

Does my homeowner’s insurance cover storm damage?

Homeowner’s insurance can provide peace of mind, and a typical homeowner’s policy will cover exterior and interior storm damage. In addition, if you experience a tornado, major windstorm, power surge, lightning strike, fallen tree, hail damage, ice storm, or wildfire, most policies will cover a portion of repair or replacement after you’ve met your deductible.

On the exterior, covered storm damage can include:
– Roof shingles which have blown off during a windstorm
– Siding dented from hail.
In the interior, it can include:
– Power surges caused by a lightning strike that causes wiring damage to appliances.

Do I need a storm door?

The front door is a focal point of one’s home. However, wind, rain, snow, sleet, or hail can often wear down its beauty. Storm doors are designed for added protection against inclement weather and can help insulate your home. Depending on your preference, there are many design options to choose from including, interchangeable glass, screen panels, or self-storing doors. Learn more about how to install a storm door, and why you might need one.

How to build a storm shelter?

Storm shelters are a necessary home addition in places that typically experience extreme weather conditions like tornados or tropical storms. Before building a storm shelter, consider what type of protection you need to determine the best type of storm shelter. For example, if you live in a tornado zone, a pre-built solution is a great option. If you’re planning on building a storm shelter, keep in mind that they’re typically built with a tough outer layer, two layers of plywood, an interior side made of 14-gauge steel, and a steel door fastened with deadbolts. You’ll also want to assess the best place for your shelter, and places such as an existing basement can be easily converted when necessary. Learn more about storm shelters.

How to prepare for a winter storm?

Having the tools and knowledge to prepare for storms or blizzards can protect the integrity of your home during the winter season. Start by clearing debris and any loose items that can get picked up by high winds and cause damage to your house. You’ll also want to be sure you’re maintaining your roof regularly. Shingles, gutters, and downspouts should be secured in place, so they don’t fly off during a storm. If you know a storm is coming, reinforce your windows with sheets of plywood. Lastly, trim and prune trees and bushes to prevent damage from


 falling debris.

What to do after storm damage?

Once you’re certain you and your household members are safe and unharmed, take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries. Watch out for broken glass, nails, displaced screws, power lines, and unsecured piles of debris. Next, assess the storm damage and take photos of the destruction, including the interior and exterior of your home.

To prevent further storm damage, cover broken windows and roof leaks with tarp or plywood. After you’ve taken steps to minimize further damage, call your insurance agent. The insurance company will likely reach out to contractors and schedule the work directly to avoid any scams. Don’t forget to take good documentation for claims to your homeowner’s insurance and save all receipts to receive reimbursement.

The Top 10 U.S. Cities Most at Risk of Storms

Rank City Storm risk rating Avg # of storms (historical) Avg precipitation per storm (inches), historical Avg # of storms in 2050 Avg precipitation per storm (inches), 2050
1 Atlanta, GA 81 8 2.2 23 2.6
2 Pittsburgh, PA 81 8 1.4 26 1.7
3 Louisville, KY 80 8 2.0 23 2.4
4 Portland, OR 79 8 2.0 24 2.3
5 Raleigh, NC 79 8 1.9 24 2.4
6 Seattle, WA 78 8 2.0 25 2.4
7 Lexington-Fayette, KY 78 8 1.5 23 1.9
8 Philadelphia, PA 77 8 2.2 23 2.5
9 Boston, MA 76 8 2.2 23 2.6
10 Cincinnati, OH 75 8 1.8 23 2.6

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*Storm risk is measured by considering the amount of precipitation that falls on the most rainy (or snowy) days. A “storm” is defined as the amount of precipitation in the top 8 rainiest days per year in a location, based on historical averages. The storm risk rating considers how many more of these days will occur on average around 2050, and how much more precipitation will fall on these rainiest days.

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