Hurricane Harvey

4 Ways to Prepare Your Property for Natural Disasters

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How to Protect Your Home Against Natural Disasters in an Unstable Environment

As an American, your home is arguably the center of your entire life. Not only is it the most valuable asset you have, but it’s also the place where you’ve formed countless memories (and will hopefully forge many more). While you can’t prevent natural disasters from happening, you can take steps towards protecting your property.

4 Ways You Can Be Proactive

Being proactive will get you a long way in life. When it comes to your property and the threat of natural disasters, the better prepared you are for things like floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes, the greater your chances of survival.

Here are some different pointers to help you through:

1. Use Stronger Building Materials

When it comes to a strong hurricane or tornado, there are very few manmade products that are going to protect your home from disaster.

“But if you want to try to brace your home against the howling winds of twisters or hurricanes, there is a spectrum of technologies available, from roof clips and window shutters at the more inexpensive end to reinforcements for doors and walls at the high end,” Amanda DeMatto writes for Popular Mechanics.

One of the most important investments you can make is a strong, well-fortified garage door. As DeMatto writes, “Once the garage door is lost, you can consider the house lost as well: High-speed winds pressurize the house and blow the roof off like a shaken soda can.” A windowless garage door that’s less than 9-feet wide and rated to withstand 50-plus pounds of pressure per square foot is about as good as it gets.

2. Obtain Better Insurance Coverage

Natural disasters like earthquakes and mudslides often lead to movement in the earth. “Because soil is part of the foundation which holds the home or property up, earth movement claims often involve large and substantial losses,” Haffner Lawyers explains. “They can also raise difficult coverage issues implicating earth movement exclusions.”

If you’re worried about how a natural disaster could impact your home, you need to spend some time studying your property insurance and gaining clarity on what is included. You may need to obtain additional coverage for things like earth movement.

3. Follow Warnings and Evacuations

When the National Weather Service issues natural disaster warnings and encourages evacuations, you need to listen. While there’s always the possibility that trouble will be averted, there’s also a great chance that you could be seriously harmed.

As inconvenient as it might be, it’s best to heed all advice from authorities and take as many safety precautions as you possibly can. As they say, better safe than sorry.

4. Have Contingency Plans in Place

As the head of your household, it’s important that you take your responsibilities seriously. If you’re in a high-risk area – such as a coastal town that’s frequently in the path of hurricanes – develop contingency plans with each of your family members.

Not only should people know what to do in an emergency, but there should also be a protocol for responding after a disaster hits. This will provide everyone with valuable peace of mind.

Control What You Can, Forget What You Can’t

Perhaps the scariest thing about a natural disaster is that nobody can stop it. When a hurricane is about to make landfall, the community is at Mother Nature’s mercy. No amount of money, begging, or hiding can redirect it.

With that being said, it’s important for you to control what you can, and avoid the factors that are beyond your sphere of influence. In doing so, you’ll maximize your property’s protection and have peace of mind – regardless of what happens.

Jeff is a contractor specializing in residential construction and construction management in Chicago, Illinois for over 20 years. He deals exclusively in new construction and remodeling for residential projects and can act as designer, builder, and general contractor as well as preliminary estimates, cost vs. benefit analysis.

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