Your home is your castle. It is your safe refuge after a long day at work. It is a place where you build your memories with the ones you love. However, nature can be unforgiving and take all those away in just a blink of an eye. While there is no telling when natural disasters will strike, it is always best to be prepared.
According to a report by Scientific American, the United States had a total of 16 natural disasters, which included wildfires and hurricanes. The damages incurred were estimated to be at least $1 billion in total.
When you buy a home, you want to make it a safe zone for you and your loved ones. Natural disasters are inevitable and can strike at any time, so it pays to be one step ahead at all times.
Here is a guide on how to protect your home and your families in the event of a natural disaster:
1. How to Protect your Home in the event of a Hurricane
The hurricane that cost the most damage was Hurricane Katrina back in 2015 with damages costing more than $100 billion. A hurricane can bring strong winds of around 150 MPH, thunderstorms, and flash floods. Hurricane season in the United States is from June to November.
In order to better prepare yourself for a hurricane, assess the risk areas of your home. Determine if your home can resist the damage from a storm surge or high winds. Have water damage restoration professionals assess your home, and they can give you an idea if the foundation of your home, including its landscape can withstand hurricane damage, and give you the necessary measures to strengthen your home.
2. Earthquake Preparedness
Earthquake activity in the United States seem to occur mostly in Southern California. Authorities have estimated that the average financial loss to earthquakes is around $4.5 billion a year, mainly in Oregon, Washington, and California.
The damages incurred has become a threat to the nation’s economy. Because earthquakes have become so hard to predict, preparedness is key so it is best to always come prepared in the face of this disaster.
Be sure to bolt down all your furniture, especially the heavy ones. You would not want these falling on you or your loved ones in the event that disaster strikes. If you happen to live in an area where it is prone to earthquakes, consider investing in earthquake-proof furniture.
Check the foundation of your home, particularly for any cracks on the walls. Have a professional look into these and also have your home’s foundation checked for any signs of structural damage.
3. Preparing your home in case of tornadoes
Tornadoes are severe storms that are a result of thunderstorms. It is characterized by dangerous and fast winds that can reach up to 300 MPH. A tornado can leave a path of destruction of more than one mile wide and fifty miles long.
In order to prepare your home for a tornado, identify the safest room in your house. This will be the place where you and your family members will seek refuge until the storm has passed. Usually, rooms below ground are the most ideal locations but interior rooms on the first level could work as well. Have your contractor assess if your “safe room” can withstand the tornado and walls, ceiling, and the door can endure strong and high winds.
4. Preparing your home in the event of wildfires
Wildfires usually start as small fires in heavily wooded areas. These spread fast and consume everything in its path. Wildfires are usually the result of a lightning strike or campfires that were not put out. Because of this, wildfires are unpredictable, but the damages that they bring are devastating.
When you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, consider landscaping your garden with plants and flowers that will not add fuel to the fire so to say. It’s also advised that you keep open spaces with non-flammable materials. Make sure that your home is made of fire retardant materials and that you treat your materials with fire resistant chemicals.
Natural disasters can be unpredictable, and the damage that they bring can be devastating. Always keep your head above the water and be prepared. Make sure to stock up on essential supplies and keep them in waterproof containers. If possible, keep important documents, such as identifying papers and financial documents in a safe place. An insurance plan will also benefit you in case these disasters strike. The hand of nature can be merciless, but it does not hurt to come prepared.