Lessons to Remember for the Next Superstorm

If Hurricane Sandy taught us anything, it’s this: Almost anyone can suddenly wind up living like a caveman for days or weeks on end.

Geography didn’t matter. (Huge swaths of New York City, not normally associated with ferocious weather systems, lost power, heat and hot water.) Neither did social status. (Homes of the rich and poor along the Eastern seaboard were equally devastated.)

Here are some lessons learned from the superstorm to help protect you from becoming a future statistic:

Better Gauge Roof Health by Visiting the Attic

What homeowner wants to brave the winter elements to check on the health of his roof? And yet, given the crucial role roofs play in determining a house’s efficiency—yes, that means utility bills—most people think they have no choice but to go mano a mano with all that snow and ice.

Turns out, most people are wrong. You could just check your attic instead.

“Roofs create an insulated barrier that helps trap heat inside,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, which is championed by GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. “And since most attic spaces are located right below them, it’s a convenient spot to see potential problem areas and damage without being subjected to falls and injury.”