Whether it’s a tornado, flood, or another dangerous natural disaster, these anomalies can wreak havoc on your home.
While it’s impossible to avoid a natural disaster, there are some things you can do to be better prepared.
Read on for some ways you can prepare for natural disasters so that you can protect your family and your property whenever they strike.
Start by Creating a Plan
The best way to stay safe and prepare for natural disasters is to come up with a family plan. This plan should include things like evacuation plans, where to meet in the event that you need to leave, and creating a household emergency kit.
Sit down and talk to your family, and come up with a written plan that you can keep on file. Give everyone a copy of the plan and make sure that all members of the household are in agreement and on the same page.
When you develop a plan for emergencies in advance, you’ll be much better prepared in the event that one occurs. Don’t forget to include additional information in your plans such as emergency phone numbers, specific directions and routes, and copies of your insurance policy.
Turn Off Water, Gas, and Electric Lines
If a major storm strikes, you need to know where all of the main lines are to your home. It’s best to turn off the main water feed to your home, especially if you’re planning to evacuate. This simple step can save your home from additional damage caused by a broken pipe or plumbing that becomes damaged.
If your home has natural gas, find out how to turn that off, too. Switch off the main power to your home if you’re leaving to help prevent a possible fire.
A good rule of thumb is to turn off all three of these things if you need to leave your home. While it can’t prevent certain problems from happening completely, it’s still a smart way to minimize the potential for fires, gas leaks, and floods.
Plant Fire-Retardant Plants
Catastrophes like storms, wildfires, and earthquakes cost the United States approximately $36 billion in losses in 2019 alone. If you live in states like Colorado, California, or Utah, your home is much more vulnerable to wildfire damage.
As wildfires sweep across the land, certain plants and trees serve as fuel, which only increases the wildfire’s spread. One way to prepare and protect your home is to plant a few fire-retardant plants around your home and yard.
Some examples of plants you can add to your garden include the ice plant, aloe, sumac, and roses. As for trees, consider planting maple, poplar, or cherry trees since they’re much less flammable than pine or fir trees.
Look for Leaks
A leaking roof is only made worse when a major natural disaster strikes. If you really want to prepare for natural disasters, start by doing an “audit” of your home and look for signs of possible leaking that could come from the roof.
Go inside your attic and take a look around, making sure you check for problems like worn-out plywood or small bits of light coming through the roof. Check the flashing around your chimney, and scan your roof for damaged or missing shingles.
Make sure your gutters are properly attached to the home and sloped in the right direction. These simple checks can be a huge help if you catch and correct them before a storm arrives. A leaking roof or fireplace can cause extremely costly damage to your home, so it’s best to try and prevent it before it’s too late.
Read Your Insurance Policy
Whether hurricane or wildfire season is approaching, now is a good time to read over your homeowner’s insurance policy. Make sure that you have the proper amount of coverage to repair and/or replace your structure and belongings if a natural disaster strikes.
If you’re not happy with your current coverage amounts, contact your insurance company to update the policy. Remember that items like antiques, valuable jewelry, and firearms may require a separate, additional policy or line item to cover them in the event that they’re ruined or lost.
Additional structures like a separate shed or a new garage might also need to be added to your policy. Read over the fine print and contact your insurance agent right away so they can help you make the changes you need to keep you covered.
Every family should have some basic supplies together in the event of a natural disaster. Gather some crucial items together so that you’ll have everything you need in the vent of a power outage or in case you need to “hunker down.”
A good emergency kit should include a flashlight and radio with plenty of extra batteries, a fully stocked first aid kit, and plenty of drinking water. You can find out more about what to include online so you’ll have everything you need.
Remember that candles should not be used in the event of a power outage, as they pose a serious fire risk. Make a checklist of the things you need, and take steps now to have them ready just in case.
Preparation to Weather the Storm
Knowing how to prepare for natural disasters will keep your family and property safe, and it will also give you peace of mind. Consider these tips so that you know exactly what to do in the event that a dangerous natural disaster strikes where you live.
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