Tips To Help Prepare Your Home for A Natural Disaster

It goes without saying that the best time to prepare for a natural disaster is often days before it happens, and so you always want to have a trusted general contractor on quick dial.

Tips To Help Prepare Your Home for A Natural Disaster.

It goes without saying that the best time to prepare for a natural disaster is often days before it happens, and so you always want to have a trusted general contractor on quick dial. Plus, it pays to be proactive and keep up to date with your home’s maintenance so that even something like a lower magnitude earthquake or flooding does not end up decimating your home.

Ensure that your home is built and reinforced with waterproof and windproof materials since they offer the best protection. Though not essential, having them will lower the number of repairs you might need to undertake after disaster strikes.

In addition to the above, you might want to take a few simple steps to protect your home from the most common natural disasters.

Reinforce Your Doors and Windows

If a tornado or hurricane is in the forecast, the fear is of your doors and windows flying off, as is other loose debris. It would help if you considered installing or replacing the existing windows with wind-resistant ones and installing stormproof shutters, which help protect your doors from being hammered by external debris. A general contractor should be able to do this for you.

A temporary fix would be to use plywood to nail your doors and windows shut before the storm.

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Locate Your Electrical, Water and Gas Lines

Now, if you see the storm is on the horizon, you may receive emergency instructions to turn off the electricity, gas, and water connection to prevent fire hazards and flooding. If your water and power lines are not checked, they can lead to additional property damage even before disaster strikes. So, you will want to know where your lines are located and shut them off. If the city has issued an evacuation order, disconnect electrical, water, and gas lines before departing your home or apartment.

Stock Up on Sandbags

Using sandbags helps divert water if placed around the doors and in otherwise flood-prone areas, like your backyard. Doing this will prevent flood water from getting into the home if there is a hurricane, for instance. This can be crucial if the storm is expected to surge. Make sure to stack multiple sandbags to a foot or higher for the best protection.

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Secure The Furniture Outdoors

If you have furniture on your patio or porch, ensure it is all tied down before the storm is expected to make landfall. Items like grills, umbrellas, and others will move when the wind starts blowing. The same goes for all the yard toys and other small items. Do a walk through the yard and remove anything you think will be blown away.

Prune The Trees In Your Backyard

Ensure that all of your doors and windows are fully closed and completely sealed during a storm. Otherwise, you risk direct indoor damage, alongside possible window and door frame issues.

Secure All Your Heavy Furniture

Natural disasters like earthquakes are powerful to the point where they can knock your heavy furniture around. Appliances like fridges and furniture like large couches and beds can cause serious injuries when they move unpredictably. If you live in an earthquake zone, secure all heavy furniture to the walls using brackets. This will ensure that they don’t cause damage or personal injury.

Plant Fire Retardant Plants

If you live in an area prone to the occasional or seasonal wildfire, start by creating a safe zone around your property using non-flammable materials like stone and cement. One way to create a safe zone is to use plants in the yard. While regular plants will fuel the flames, which encourage the fire toward your house, fire retardant plants have the opposite effect.

Cal Fire says the best fire-retardant plants are aloe, rockrose, sumac, ice plant, shrub apples, and hedging roses. Also, cherry and maple are comparatively less flammable than fir or pine.

Put An Emergency Plan In Place

You will want to create a survival guide. In addition, you will also want to have an emergency kit, which includes all items like non-perishable food items, medical supplies, bottled water, phone chargers, and emergency radios.

You will also want to have a document (physical) that outlines all the necessary evacuation routes, radio stations, insurance policy info, and a list of steps you need to take to secure your home. Have both a digital and hard copy of every document. Power outages will mean that your digital copy becomes inaccessible.

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What Should Your Insurance Cover?

Home insurance generally covers natural disaster claims. Any weather event that results in heavy rain, hail, winds, snow, and fire, in addition to falling objects, will be covered under your present homeowner’s insurance policy.

The insurance will cover damage to your personal belongings inside and outside the home. It will also cover repairs by a general contractor to the damage done to the exterior. However, in some cases, you and the family will need to move out of the home temporarily so that the house can be repaired. Moving out, for the time being, may also be covered by the insurer.

Natural disasters covered by the insurer include blizzards, thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes, and wildfires.

However, it is worth noting that there are several natural disasters that regular homeowners insurance may not cover, including earthquakes and flooding. If you live in an area that receives its fair share of floods or on the earthquake belt, you will need to purchase separate insurance policies for each type of natural disaster.

Final Word

Natural disasters can strike when you least expect them. That’s why it pays always to be prepared. If there was damage done to your property, make sure to hire the best people disaster recovery crew for the job instead of doing it yourself.

We are North Carolina’s leading general contractor helping homeowners recover from natural disasters, serving Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Raleigh.

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