HOUSTON – If you live inland and away from the coast, the biggest concern for your home and property are likely high winds. Now is a good time to get outside and bring in everything that's not anchored to the ground.
Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50 to 60 miles an hour. Hurricane Laura is expecting to come ashore with winds up to 115 miles an hour. So you can bet those winds will pick up items even a hundred miles away like nothing.
One Conroe homeowner knows first hand what high wind damage can do. Wind pitched a trampoline from Amanda Cloud’s neighbor’s yard and smacked it into her home. The wind was 74 miles per hour.
What should you do with your trampoline before expected high winds?
Trampoline manufacturer Springfree says “If you anticipate SEVERE and EXTREME weather, the trampoline should be moved to a sheltered location or disassembled.”
Some trampoline owners say you should remove the net, flip it over and stack sandbags on top to hold it down. You can try to secure it to the ground in an upright position... But the more rain we get, the lower the chance the stakes and anchors will hold in the soggy ground.
“This will be moving quickly so even if you are well north up the coast towards lake Livingston or Sam Rayburn- those areas will get a lot of wind up there. Be prepared for power outages or trees to come down in east Texas,” said Meteorologist Jeff Lindner.
Meteorologist Jeff Lindner with the Harris County Flood Control District says even if you are not under a weather watch, get ready.
"Right now with the current track we certainly could see some gusty winds in Western Harris County down in Fort Bend or Brazoria or up in Waller county. If the track shifts a little more to the west you would get more impacts in those counties," said Lindner. "They need to be preparing in those counties even though there are technically no watches for those areas right now again we have to assume this could come closer to us."
Take a look around your yard. Bring in patio furniture, your grill, dog house, potted plants, toys, and anything else that is not secure. You can store them in your garage, but keep in mind, garage doors are often the most vulnerable opening on a home during a hurricane. When you are outside, look for and remove loose branches or tree limbs.
Is all storm damage covered by homeowner’s insurance?
Even if you have homeowners insurance, if you don’t do your part to protect your property you may not be covered. The Conroe woman whose home was damaged by that flying trampoline last summer told us her neighbor’s insurance company denied the claim, saying the damage was caused by an act of God.