There have been so many natural disasters lately. It seems like constant flooding and wildfires in the news. When I saw that ELocal had gotten their panel of experts to offer advice on how to Protect Your Home From Natural Disasters, I decided to bring you a few of these tips (with their permission, of course.) I hope that you ever need any of this advice but it is better to be safe that sorry as my grandmother always told me!
How To Protect Your Home From Wildfires
• If you live in a heavily wooded area, cut back the tree line and other vegetation to the extent recommended by your local fire department.
• Keep your lawn and gardens well-watered, perhaps by installing an irrigation system, since hydrated plants are less likely to burn.
• If you live near a pond or stream, install pumps and suction lines for fire fighters.
• Use non-combustible materials when constructing your home, such as cement wall siding and cement-based roof shingles.
How To Protect Your Home From Flooding
• Keep your gutters as clean as possible to allow the water to flow freely.
• Install a sump pump to help remove water, and consider getting a flood alarm.
• Keep your furnace and electrical panels above ground to prevent electrifying floodwater.
• Make sure the ground is sloped away from your home, or consider installing a moat-like trench with drains and pipes around the foundation. Do regular checks when it is raining to see if water is accumulating anywhere along the foundation.
• Be aware that most homeowner’s insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood damage.
How To Protect Your Home From Hurricanes and Tornadoes
• Get hurricane shutters or roll shutters, which are motorized and can be operated from inside the home (prices range from $16-$40 per square foot).
• Avoid homes directly on the water in disaster-prone areas.
• Get impact-resistant windows and garage doors.
• Prune shrubbery and large tree branches susceptible to gusts so they don’t come through windows or roofs.
• Properly placed trees can actually have a wind-sail effect, acting as a natural barrier from extreme weather conditions.
• Your home should be securely anchored from roof to foundation. This “continuous load path” requires use of hurricane straps, bolts, and other hardware. Older homes can be retrofitted to some degree to make them more secure.
• Move outdoor furniture and other non-secure items into storage when hurricanes or tornadoes are forecasted.
• Discuss a safety plan, and determine which interior room would be the safest to use for cover.
Also, don’t forget to rethink your your risk and be ready by checking your insurance policy and making sure it equipped to handle natural disasters that are more of a risk for your area.