Apart from being your safe place, your home is also your most valuable property, which you need to protect against all possible risks, including natural disasters. Depending on the season and the region you live in, a disaster can strike anytime, while your home can sustain a serious damage unless you’re prepared.
By assessing your home’s current condition and studying the risk exposure, you’ll be able to reinforce it and keep the repair costs to a minimum.
Schedule a home audit
Evaluating your home’s present conditions will identify the impending risks, so it’s essential that someone checks it from the roof to the foundation. Hire a professional home inspector, but also make sure they don’t miss something. Among the critical areas, the plumbing system needs to be checked for possible draining issues.
The inspector also needs to assess the structural stability of your outdoor structures such as porches, decks, sheds, and fences. Leaky roof can be a problem in more than one scenario, so it needs immediate attention. A separate issue that needs additional professional expertise is your home’s wiring, which could prove potentially hazardous in emergencies like floods and fires.
Safeguard important documents
Restoring the home into its original shape after a disaster is difficult, but having all the essential documents at hand makes the whole process much less bumpier. Make a list of your home possession, either in writing or photographs, and store it into a fireproof safe, a remote deposit box, or any other location you deem secure. Include here the receipts for your valuables, as well as the warranty information, which you’ll use to file an insurance claim for loss or damage.
Make an emergency supply kit
Preparedness and survival experts recommend building an emergency kit that can last up to three days in case your access to electricity, clean water, groceries, and other local services is severed.
In essence, a basic emergency survival kit needs to include a supply of non-perishable (canned) food and water, a first-aid kit, flashlight and batteries, medications, baby supplies (if needed), and a battery-operated radio. Also, get yourself familiar with local natural disaster procedures and emergency plans, as well as the relief centres where your family can spend time outside of home.
Apply for insurance
Regardless of how much time and effort you dedicate to securing your home, you can build it like Cheyenne Mountain, but it’s never really safe until you insure it adequately. When applying for home insurance, ask about options that cover your contents as well. Most content policies also insure your belongings from damage as a result of fire or vehicle accident while being moved to another location.
Additional home and content options include added protection packages for items associated to your business. Before you sign a policy, make sure the package you’ve chosen doesn’t leave you under-insured.
Caused by lightning, human negligence or lava, wildfires are a real hazard in wooded areas, especially during dry summer months. You can reduce your home’s exposure by creating a 10m clearance between your home and the treeline, as well as removing any dead plant material like leaves, pine needles and dry twigs around your house.
Also, make sure you install mesh screening under and around your porches and decks, roof opening s any other vents, and in some cases, even around the entire home exterior. This makes it hard for flying debris and sparks to set your home on fire.
Emergency flooding is a disaster that can strike almost anywhere on the globe, and there is no predicting where or why the next one can happen. In a succession of emergency events between 2013 and 2016, floods have hit the U.S. states of Colorado, New York, Arizona, Michigan, Carolinas, and Louisiana, affecting hundreds of thousands of people, while incurring the damage measured in tens of billions.
In order to protect your home and keep your family safe, keep valuables in a watertight strongbox, back up the important documents online, stock emergency supplies, and if you’re trapped in a building move to a highest floor. Avoid entering the flood water at all costs, as it contains highly contagious sewage and possibly industrial waste.
Natural disasters and weather-related events are a real threat to your home. In addition to preparing the emergency supplies, reinforcing the home structure, and insuring the building and contents, if your home is damaged in this way, you can speed up the claims process by having photographic evidence of the damage.