While Nebraska and the Midwest as a whole are known for unpredictable weather, it doesn’t always mean that residents are regularly prepared for the days when the weather gets a little too out of hand and turns severe. When we are not prepared, we risk damage to our important investments, which can cause further damage emotionally and financially.

If you live in Nebraska, it is important that you are always prepared for severe weather, too, as we are subject to intense storms during a significant part of the year. Severe storms strike quickly, and thunderstorms produce heavy rain, strong winds, lightning, hail, flooding and tornados. If you talk to a meteorologist in Nebraska, they will likely tell you to follow the Boy Scouts creed: Be Prepared.

While tornados can occur at any time of the year, they are most prevalent in Nebraska during spring and early summer. Most tornados in the state occur in the afternoon or early evening, as these dry lines head east. All thunderstorms can produce violently rotating columns of air that can reach the ground, but tornados usually develop within supercells. Although there is virtually nothing we can do to effect a change in severe weather patterns in Nebraska, what we can do is educate ourselves about our options in preparation for and response to such events. That way, when a storm hits, you know who to call straightaway!

Severe weather can happen at any time, though we are nearing the season when we are most likely to experience it. To ensure your home is built to withstand these inevitable storms or that it has the adequate coverage in the event that property is damaged, we recommend reaching out to these local experts and taking advantage of their quality services.

Quality Work from Local Businesses

Neemann & Sons is a family-owned and operated business serving the Lincoln and surrounding communities for over 40 years. Their business was built on honesty and hard work, and their customers are like family, which is why they believe in using only quality materials. Their services include roofing, gutters, siding, soffit, fascia, window replacement and HALO Lighting. They offer fully tailored solutions so you can dream the perfect home while they provide the quality materials and talent to construct it. They’ll even give you a free estimate of your services since they understand every project is unique and requires special attention.

Chris Neemann
Neemann & Sons

“My biggest piece of advice is to ensure you are hiring local, reputable contractors that are insured and will be there after the storm,” advised Owner Chris Neemann. “Hiring an unreliable contractor can result in costly expenses. If the contractor does not pay for your material, a lien can be placed on your home. Also, a workmanship warranty is only good if the contractor is still in business. If a contractor installs your shingles incorrectly, your shingle warranty could be void. But maybe the worst is that many homeowners don’t realize that there are some contractors that take money down and leave town without doing the project.”

As severe weather season approaches, Chris suggested homeowners keep a watchful eye on their gutters. If they are not draining properly, there could be potential water damage to the interior of your home and basement – and no one wants to pay for damage from a storm on both the inside and outside of their home.

“When choosing a contractor, it is a good idea to check online reviews, but even better to ask your friends, family or neighbors,” suggested Chris. “If you think it’s expensive hiring a good contractor, try hiring a bad one!”

Neeman & Sons have the experience and expertise to identify why your home is damaged and the expertise to develop an effective solution to stop the problem and prevent any further damage. They are your go to contact when a storm hits your home or business.

A roof is a big investment. If you’re considering repairing or replacing your roof due to a recent storm, fire or sudden malfunction, Neeman’s roofing specialist will provide tailored solutions to meet your needs. Determining the cost of repairs depends on many variables, such as type of roof, cost of permits, scope of repairs, existing water damage and exterior features like a chimney or skylight. Weather conditions and maintenance are two major factors contributing to the condition of your gutters. If you have loose, damaged, leaking or clogged gutters, you may require repairs or maintenance to ensure your home remains safe and free from future problems.

Ensure You’re Insured

Damage due to severe weather in Nebraska can be very extensive. Pretty much anything related to your household, personal belongings, auto and farm machinery can be affected. The best way to prepare is to have a relationship with your agent and keep them informed on what coverages you may want and need. Shelter Insurance guarantees that their agents are by your side through the unknown. Some people buy a new home and just shop for the cheapest insurance they can find to keep their payments low. Without a good agent to explain the policies, you can find yourself in a bind once a claim happens. Cheap insurance often entails high deductibles and limited coverages.

Severe weather is unpredictable and oftentimes relentless in the summer. When the first storm of the season leaves some hail damage on your property, it may be best to wait it out before getting it fixed.

Matthew Moorhead
Shelter Insurance

“Being impatient is what gets a lot of insureds into trouble. For example, after the first big hailstorm of the year many people have damage that needs to be repaired, but you do not want to jump the gun,” said Matt Moorhead of Shelter Insurance. “Now don’t get me wrong, emergencies need to be addressed immediately to prevent further damage, but if the damage is just cosmetic, it is sometimes better to wait. I tell my clients to find a good local reputable roofing company. If they are local, they more than likely already have dealt with Shelter before, and it will make things run more smoothly than with a company that just showed up that week. Shelter’s claims adjustors have a really good reputation with our Lincoln roofing companies and it makes things so much easier.”

Shelter Insurance is a midwestern based company that has dealt with the people and weather in this part of the country since day one.

“We repeatedly get awards for our customer service for both our adjustors and agents. We have several agents in town that have been in the business for many years, and I myself have been an agent here in Lincoln for the past 23,” Matt said. “I make it a point to get to know my clients and make sure they understand what to expect from both me and my policies. I might not always be the cheapest in town, but I sell a great policy at a competitive price and I am confident that we will always do what is best for our clients.”

Shelter Insurance has weathered many catastrophic storms through the years including the Joplin Tornado in 2011; the Moore, Oklahoma tornado in 2013; Hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Laura and more recently, the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. At the core of the Shelter brand is the willingness to do the right thing. They have held steady and strong in times of crisis, helping customers and communities rebuild and thrive for the future. It is a promise which continues today and into the future.

When the Rain Falls

In the event that water does find its way into your home and you are experiencing water damage, be sure that you are hiring a reputable company to help you get back on your feet. 1-800 WATER DAMAGE is a great place to start.

At 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, they are committed to restoring what matters most to you. Their local restoration experts use advanced equipment and techniques to perform property damage restoration in Lincoln, and all the communities in between. Their IICRC-certified restoration professionals deal with damage stemming from water, smoke, fire, sewage and mold. They understand that when water finds its way into places it shouldn’t be, every moment counts to prevent further damage from occurring. Their highly trained and licensed restoration experts will be on the scene promptly to assess the type and scope of the damage in your home or commercial property before creating a customized plan of action to clean up, dry out and repair your structure and other assets. Their goal is to return you to your normal routine as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Their Lincoln crew has the experience and state-of-the-art tools to read moisture levels, assess the type of water responsible for the damage, dehumidify, extract excess water and thoroughly dry out your home. Their specialists work quickly and efficiently to restore what’s most important to you. They are familiar with Lincoln’s building codes, so you can rest assured that they will get the job done with those regulations in mind.

Jeff Carstens

“Our services go beyond water damage restoration to include mold remediation, sewage cleanup, professional carpet cleaning, fire/smoke restoration and much more,” explained Owner Jeff Carstens. “When strong weather events hit, we go into action quickly and the calls just keep coming. When we get a lot of rain quickly, we see lots of flooding into basements. We still have broken dishwasher lines, toilet overflows and sewage backups, but we deal with rain immediately and get people dried back out. If there’s an emergency, we’ve got you covered!”

The first thing you should do if you get water in your home or business is shut the main water off as quickly as possible. If it is from a storm, go outside and reinforce that water is flowing away from your house, check that your sump pump is working and try to contain the damage as much as you can. But if it’s coming down behind the walls or through the floors, get ahold of 1-800 WATER DAMAGE as quickly as possible to limit the amount of damage that occurs.

“Moisture can enter your home in large amounts that affect everything,” Jeff said. “Damage can spread, and contents, walls, ceilings, trim and flooring can be ruined if not acted on immediately. Solid wood, carpet and stone usually are salvageable, but the rest generally will have to be torn out and redone if action is delayed. If you don’t take precautions—or if you notice water and don’t do anything—your price tag can change from a couple thousand dollars to $30,000 in claims quickly.”

Reinsulate to Keep Extreme Temps Out

Don’t let the hot summer heat and humidity cause your energy bills to skyrocket and force an increased risk to your physical assets. Streamline Energy Solutions offers a solution for you: reinsulate and air-seal your home!

Jen Keller
Streamline Energy Solutions

“One of the biggest things we recommend to create the maximum impact when someone wants to insulate their home is to air seal it,” said Streamline Co-founder and BPI-Certified Auditor Jen Keller. “We’ll locate all the accessible crevices in your attic, including around your fixtures and top plates, and seal them to prevent conditioned air from leading into the attic space. That preps the attic for us to insulate with blown-in fiberglass. We prefer this product over cellulose because it doesn’t settle over time, does not absorb moisture, and is a lot cleaner product. Of course, the baffles we install in an attic are a crucial step in the process, too, because they keep the insulation from blocking air flow through your soffit vents and provide necessary ventilation.”

With a combined total of 16 years of experience in the industry, Streamline’s co-founders came together to provide a holistic approach to energy efficiency. Their energy auditing services coupled with a variety of weatherization upgrades maximize your savings while minimizing your home’s energy usage. Streamline’s services keep money in your wallet and take it easy on the environment. Reach out to them today to ensure your home insulation is up to code before severe weather and temperatures arrive.

Severe weather season is upon us. If you’ve lived in Lincoln for long, you know that severe weather isn’t an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. We recommend that you decide in advance of the next storm who you’ll turn to when you need help with repairs at your home or business after the storm, and talk to the companies featured here.