It's Summer Storm Season. Here are 3 Ways to Save Money on After-Storm Cleanup


It’s that time of year again, the most magical and wonderful time of year: storm season. Early summer is especially heinous for storms, since it’s when both tornado and hurricane season overlap, creating a ton of chaos for homeowners in areas where one or both occur.

This year, though, you can change the narrative and save yourself money on dreaded storm cleanup for years to come. Here are three moves to make this summer storm season after a storm strikes.

1. Call your insurance agent

Most people are downright afraid to call their insurance agent when something goes wrong because there’s a pervasive attitude that so much as a whisper of an issue will drive their rates up.

Well, I’ve got news for you — your rates are going up anyway due to the radical changes in the climate, so you might as well use your policy.

When a storm strikes, there’s a lot that your insurance company may cover, depending on what kind of policy you have. For example, a tree that falls on your house is generally covered, as are the repairs to your roof, even if you just have a basic home insurance policy.

Always call your agent first to see what is covered, what isn’t covered, and what it costs if you choose to use your policy. The $3,000 tree removal and the $2,000 roof repair might all be covered by your $1,000 deductible.

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The same applies if that tree fell on your car instead — your car insurance may cover much of the damage. Check with your agent to check your coverages and even update them before you need to use them.

2. Save your storm supplies

For many people, storm supplies are items they buy, don’t use, and then toss out or use up after storm season is over. But tarps and plywood are good to keep on hand, just in case you do have a broken window or a leaky roof happen as a result of a bad storm. You can store them almost anywhere, even just leaned against the wall in the garage.

If you buy them once, you don’t need to buy them twice, even if you do use them. These are durable materials that can be used over and over again. Just handle them with care, and if you have to cut them to size, label them so you know where they were used last.

It’s not only important to have the right materials on hand before the storm hits, but it’s cheaper, too. Buying plywood when everyone else is rushing to do the same means you’ll almost always pay more and you risk not being able to find any at all.

3. Repair damage with storm-rated materials

I’m sorry to say this, I truly am, but these storms are only going to get worse as time goes on. I get it, I’m Tornado Alley–adjacent myself. I grew up here, I’ve seen how these storms have changed in intensity in the last several decades. Climate change is real.

We can give up and move away, or we can be better prepared for the next storm, which saves a ton of money on cleanup for the next one — and there’s always a next one. That means when we do our storm repairs, we don’t just phone it in with cheap materials, but actually invest in our homes to make them more resilient in the face of storms.

Materials like vinyl siding will blow off in a tornado, but fiber cement siding will hold steady in more aggressive wind conditions because it’s significantly heavier. It might cost a little extra this season to install, but not having to constantly replace cheaper siding is actually a way to save money in the long run on your cleanup.

The same goes for roofing, windows, or anything in your home that’s exposed to the elements.

Storms never really end, we just get breaks in between to rebuild

If you live in a storm-prone area, you know that storms never really end. Sure, there’s a calm window, but it’s really just that — a window. That’s why we need to think ahead when doing storm cleanup this year. There’s always going to be more, and the better we plan now, the cheaper next year will be.

Owning a home can be an expensive undertaking. But if you think about the hazards your home is likely to experience, keep materials around to help make those necessary temporary repairs, choose storm-rated materials for permanent repairs, and work with your insurance agent, you’ll be able to save some money this storm season and next.

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