Everyone’s home is like a haven that keeps them warm and cozy. Unfortunately, some unforeseen circumstances, including natural disasters, can wreak havoc in our place of peace. With each passing year, the frequency of natural disasters increases at an alarming rate. Natural calamities, like floods, volcanoes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc., can completely wreck our houses and damage our belongings. But with careful planning and preventive measures, we can manage various disasters accordingly.
Below, we have shared some tips about preparing your home for different natural disasters.
1. Have a Plan
Preparation is the key to avoiding maximum damage due to natural disasters. However, you must be aware of the calamities that commonly hit your area. For example, you could check the Natural Disaster Risk Map to identify the natural disasters that usually affect your area.
After identifying the risk, you can easily start planning for safety. For instance, if hurricanes are common in your area, you may need to board up windows. You may need to block sewage back-up from drains using sandbags.
2. Prevent Water Damage
If your area is prone to flooding, you must prepare to prevent water damage as much as possible. To do that, you should start with securing all electrical sockets and moving appliances to elevated levels. However, you may have to secure large electrical appliances, like refrigerators, to the floor to keep them from flooding.
You should seal your valuable documents, medical supplies, electric cables, etc., into waterproof bags and keep them in waterproof containers. Moreover, roll rugs and carpets and store them away.
However, despite preventive measures, floods may still damage your house to a certain extent. In such cases, it would be best to consult damage control services such as Water Damage Advisor.
Drainage around the foundation is important. In fact, poor drainage around the foundation can even threaten structural integrity. If ignored – over time it could saturate the soil and destabilize the foundation. It’s worth taking the decision to make sure the home’s drainage system is working properly and channeling water away from the foundation.
3. Locate Electricity Shut Offs
Whenever you move places, be sure to identify the power lines for gas, water, and electricity. You may need to turn off the connections in case of emergency, and for that, you need to prep in advance. Most local officials announce on news channels and radio broadcasts to turn off the gas. So, it would help if you kept a TV or radio functional to find out when that happens. You should also know about the power lines because you may need to evacuate in an emergency. To keep the house safe, unplug all the electrical appliances and shut off all power lines.
4. Prepare Doors and Windows
Hurricanes and tornadoes are notorious for blowing things away, including doors and windows. Most doors break away in storms, while loose debris breaks window glasses. These problems can lead to additional damage to your house. So, to keep it safe, you can board up doors and windows with plywood before the storm hits. However, if you live in an area that frequently gets hurricanes, you may want a more permanent solution. For instance, you can install wind-resistant windows and doors or storm-proof shutters to keep doors and windows in place during a hurricane.
5. Secure Outdoor Furniture
Storms are dangerous as they can get heavy items, including furniture, to fly off. It means outdoor furniture placed on a patio or a porch may be problematic if your area gets frequent hurricanes or tornadoes. The best solution would be to secure the furniture on the ground or move everything inside when there is a storm prediction.
6. Keep Insurance (and other important) Documents Safe
You should always keep your important documents safe and readily available, like insurance and tax files. It is essential to keep these documents safe because you may require them to file any claims for property damage. To keep them safe during a flood, you should lock them up in waterproof zip lock bags or containers.
7. Be Ready to Evacuate
Almost all states broadcast the news for a calamity approaching before it hits. These announcements are carried out frequently to prepare citizens for the upcoming situations. You should pay heed to them and prepare your house for the disaster that’s coming. Besides preparing the house to sustain the severe weather conditions, you should also prepare yourself for evacuation. Sometimes, despite all preparation, you may have no other choice but to leave the calamity-stricken place. So, get in touch with your friends and family out-of-state to make sure you have a safe place to stay.
8. Make a Basic Emergency Kit
After mentally preparing yourself for evacuation, it’s time to prepare for it practically. You should prepare a basic storm or flood kit or a go-to bag to be able to leave at a moment’s notice. This kit should include everything you may need to survive at least 48 hours, such as:
- Three days worth of non-perishable food
- Three-day water supply
- Flashlight and batteries
- First aid kit and medications
- Pet and infant supplies (if needed)
Natural disasters can cause a lot of damage to your house if you haven’t taken appropriate steps beforehand. However, you can minimize the risk with careful planning and timely execution. So, make sure you have prepared the house in advance for the disaster that your area is most vulnerable to.