Secure Your Home For Natural Disasters
As natural disasters become more and more common, it’s more important than ever for homeowners to make sure their home is secured in the event of an emergency.
A few simple steps can make a big difference in protecting your home and family. Here are a few items to help you stay prepared.
If you live in a drier climate, your home and its surroundings may be at an increased risk for a fire. Regardless, no matter where you live, it’s important to have working smoke detectors in your home that you check often.
One pro tip: avoid combination CO and smoke detectors. While it’s important to have both in your home, CO gas and smoke behave differently. Carbon monoxide tends to build at a lower lever while smoke rises quickly. Therefore, it’s safer to place your CO detector nearer to the ground and your smoke detector higher up on a wall or ceiling.
Beyond that, you can prep you home by purchasing flame-retardant shingles. These can keep your home safer depending on the grade of shingle you buy – either moderate or severe protection.
If you live in an area with lots of dead or dry brush around your home, be sure to take time to regularly clear it before the spring and summer fire season starts.
In the event that a fire breaks out near your home, but you are not given orders to evacuate, use a hose to wet the sides of your house and all surrounding areas.
One of the best things you can do to prepare your home for a flood is to buy and install a sump pump in your basement. If you already have one, make sure to double check that it’s working properly and consider getting a battery-powered backup. This will help keep your basement from flooding even if power goes out in your neighborhood.
Seal all windows and outside doors in your home and also consider buying storm shutters if you live in a hurricane-prone area.
If there are trees near your home, have dead branches removed so they cannot become deadly projectiles in a fierce storm.
You can also purchase hurricane straps to secure your roof against powerful winds. Your best bet would be to hire a home inspector to take a look at your house and give you specific advice for protecting your home during a hurricane.
Check your roof before a major snowfall hits. If your roof has weak spots, the added weight of snow could cause it to collapse. While you’re up there, make sure to check your gutters to ensure that they’re still draining properly.
Call an HVAC technician during the fall or summer months to clean and certify your home’s furnace. By planning ahead, you will not only be guaranteed an appointment, but you’ll all be set for the whole winter.
If worse comes to worst, having a comprehensive insurance plan can help you rebuild after a natural disaster.
Speak with your agent to see exactly what your current plan covers so you won’t be caught off-guard after an emergency situation.