28 great tips from Carol Crotta, Los Angeles Times:

Preparing your house, your yard, your car and your insurance — now — can be the best hedge against an unpredictable season. Here are 28 tasks to consider to better position yourself against whatever challenges El Niño throws your way.

Home

1. Fix your leaks before it rains: The recent dry heat may have caused wood structures to shrink and to open up expansion joints, possibly creating leak points. Call your roofer to check for trouble spots and repair any old leaks. Most roof leaks occur at metal flashing connection points, so make sure the flashing is free of debris. Use your hose to make sure the flashing is directing water off the roof and into the gutters.

2. Clean out your gutters and downspouts — and then clean them again: Don Vandervort, founder of Hometips.com, an online home improvement information and instruction site, clears the debris from his gutters and downspouts before a potentially rainy season — and then does it again after the first rain. Also look for any breaks and make sure the gutters are tight against the roofline. While you’re at it, seal up any holes from cables and other wires that penetrate exterior walls. For more information go to www.hometips.com.

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