How to protect your home from unpredictable disasters

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Your home is your personal space in this large world. It’s a place to create memories to cherish for a lifetime- a child’s first steps, their first words and so on. An unpredictable disaster caused by rain, fire, earth or even an inexplicable freak accident can shatter all those dreams if you aren’t well prepared.

So, here’s a look at how you can be better prepared to mitigate some of them:

 

Hurricanes

Hurricanes can wreak havoc with torrential downpours, raging winds clocking in at over 150 mph, thunderstorms and flash floods.

So, what can you do?

  • Assess the risks of your home– Have a professional inspect your home, including your foundation and landscaping to get a clear idea of what repairs have to be made
  • Keep an evacuation kit ready– This should include essentials like water, food, clothing, extra medications and first-aid supplies.
  • Have your garage doors fortified and add straps to your roof to help maintain its structure better.
  • Use storm shutters or plywood sheets to board your windows. This can help protect your house from excess damage.

 

 

Earthquakes

Caused due to sudden shifts in the tectonic plates, earthquakes can lead to the collapse of buildings and even enormous bridges. States along the West Coast incur the most damage, but increased rates of fracking across the country have blurred this distinction somewhat. So, what are some of the steps that you can take for prevention?

  • Secure large furniture– Bolt tall shelves and media cabinets to the wall to prevent them from toppling down. Move all breakable items to the lowermost shelves.
  • Have your home inspected for any cracks in the foundation and defective wiring.
  • Turn off all utilities like gas and electricity to cut down on the chances of explosions and other mishaps.
  • Organize disaster supplies and place them in easily accessible locations across the house.

 

The Japanese seem to be taking major strides in finding new ways to push the boundaries in the housing sector with well-designed earthquake-resistant homes. We could take a page or two from these pioneers of truly innovative design.

 

Wildfires

Usually triggered by lightning or human carelessness, wildfires can grow in intensity pretty quickly laying waste to vegetation, wildlife and property along its way.

If you live in a region susceptible to wildfire, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid using combustible materials in the construction of your home. Stucco or fiber cement are some of the popular fire-resistant materials used.
  • Create open spaces with non-inflammable materials to give some sort of clearance between the home and the forest.
  • Use tempered glass panes in windows instead of the standard ones that break away easily.
  • Treat fences and decks with ignition-resistant materials.
  • Keep all windows and doors shut, turn off the utilities, and wet the roof in case of warning against an approaching fire.

 

 

Tornadoes

Accompanied by fast winds that reach up to 300 miles per hour, the path of destruction of a tornado can measure more than a mile wide and fifty miles long. These winds can uproot buildings and turn cars into potentially harmful projectiles. The absolute prevention might be a little far fetched, but if your house is in the direct path of a tornado, one can still take steps to reduce damage.

  • Fortify your garages and add shutters to protect windows from shattering.
  • You may opt to install a safe room that can withstand strong winds and keep your families safe. Basements are the first choice, but interior rooms on the first floor can work too.
  • Prepare your home for high winds by securing large objects to the wall and storing bulky items near the ground.

 

One general tip to any homeowner is to get insurance. Make sure you review your policy and try to obtain as much coverage as possible. But, why stop there? You can ask your tenants to get tenants insurance. It can serve as an additional layer of protection, reducing the money you’d have to pay out of your pocket or your insurance premium. In cases of an unfortunate accident like a fire, renter’s insurance can come to the rescue helping you to reimburse for their lost items or make up for their temporary living expenses.

 

Conclusion

Although there isn’t a way to prevent natural disasters, steps can be taken to reduce their impact on daily life. Always have emergency kits around the hours and stay tuned in to the local radio or remain plugged in to social media for updates. A disaster plan prepared beforehand will always come in handy. Remember, it’s not just your home that you’ve built with your blood, sweat, and tears that are at stake, but also the lives of your loved ones who reside in it.