The forecast for this weekend is calling for some serious weather. Freezing rain and the risk of an ice storm are being predicted along with rainfall in excess of 20 millimetres! Of course, the weather man COULD be wrong, but if not, are you prepared?

What are the implications?

How will it affect your driving?

First, we all know the road hazards associated with freezing rain. Untreated roads can be dangerously slippery, making driving treacherous. If you haven’t removed your winter tires yet, good for you! Although they may not help on ice, they will be better in the cold conditions.

Your best course of action is, if you don’t have to go anywhere, stay home!

How will it affect your home?

Second, all that ice can be a danger to homes, trees and surrounding structures. Before the weather hits, check to make sure you don’t have any heavy, damaged tree limbs hanging over your home or cars. Ice will make these even heavier and cause a risk of injury or property damage.

Ice buildup on eaves troughs may also cause damage. Ensure that none of your eaves are hanging or damaged from winter stress.

What are the implications of the rainfall?

Sump Pump System

As we are all aware, rain and flooding have already been a large issue this past season. Your best defense to protect your home and belongings is to be prepared!

To start, make sure you have a WORKING sump pump or backwater valve. You don’t want to find out too late that your pump isn’t working!

The first step in testing your sump pump is to locate the exit pipe, inspect it for damage and ensure there are no clogs from debris or ice buildup.

Next, look over the pump.  Verify the cord is plugged into an outlet. Remove the lid and inspect the interior basin for any clogs or debris.

Once you have inspected and are satisfied, then you want to fill the basin. Slowly pour about 5 gallons of water into the basin of your system (You want to pour it at approximately the same flow rate as it would see if it were rainwater coming in.) until the sump pump turns on and begins to pump out water.  This should be when the water reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor.

If your pump has a float, ensure that it is functioning correctly and not catching on the lid or side of the basin.

Finally, if your examination shows any faults or defects, replace your pump. Continue to test every few months and your pump could save you a large insurance claim, and the worst headache you will ever have.

Move to higher ground!

If the worst-case scenario happens, move your belongings to higher ground. Even if you have the right insurance coverage in place, nothing can replace your greatest treasures. Move all irreplaceable items to higher floors of your home, don’t store these in the basement! Should water start seeping in, move anything you can up to the higher floors. Protecting your belongings from damage is the best thing you can do for yourself in cases of flooding.

Check your coverages!

Last, but certainly not least, contact your Cayuga Mutual Agent to ensure you have all the right coverages to suit your individual needs. We are here to help!