Protect Your Home Against Disasters
Fourteen natural disasters wreaked havoc in the US in 2018, which cost $91 billion in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In a study, CoreLogic found that 110,000 Southern California properties are at an extremely high risk of wildfires. The average reconstruction of a house in the state costs $400,000. Meanwhile, in hurricane-prone areas across the Northeast Atlantic and Gulf Coast, the study saw 1.1 million properties are at high risk of storm surges. This could mean upwards of $240 billion in damages.
Preparation is better than getting a harsh and expensive wake-up call. In fact,every $1 spent on hazard mitigation saved the country $6 in future disaster costs.
This means it pays to be read and proactive. Make sure you’re aware of the possible disasters that might hit your area and how to respond:
Common hotspots: Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia
Six hurricanes devastated the country last year. A category 5 hurricane can bring wind speeds of up to 157 miles per hour, and can cause debris to shatter your home’s windows, roof and door.
Here are ways your house can be prepared for a hurricane:
- Install storm shutters to your windows
- Reinforce doors with additional weights
- Trim tree branches or tall bushes
- Repair loose roofing and gutters
- Replace old garage doors and tracks
Common hotspots: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri
In July last year, Southern California experienced a 6.4 and a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in two days. Overall, earthquakes happen daily, but most are left unnoticed. If you live in earthquake-prone states, you should call a building inspector to inspect your house. The inspector will be able to test your home’s foundation and stability against quakes.
Here are ways your house can be prepared for an earthquake:
- Secure heavy and tall furniture to the wall (e.g. bookcases, dressers)
- Store heavy items on low shelves
- Make sure light fixtures and fans are fixed correctly to the ceiling
- Check your gas and water pipes for leaks
Common hotspots: California, Nevada, Oregon, Oklahoma, Idaho, Texas, Colorado
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) recorded 46,706 wildfires in 2018. Your yard will be crucial here. Creating a defensible space can slow a wildfire down and can redirect it around your house.
Here are ways your house can be prepared for a wildfire:
- Keep trees and shrubs pruned
- Space trees at least 10 feet apart
- Move firewood and storage tanks at least 50 feet away from your house
- Store flammable liquids in metal cans
- Do not connect wooden fencing directly to your house
Common hotspots: Alaska, Minnesota, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin
Add snow to very strong winds and you’ll get a freezing nightmare. In 2019, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin all declared states of emergency when temperatures reached lows of -45 degrees Fahrenheit. In preparing for a snowstorm, your home should be able to handle the volume of snow that will come.
Here are ways your house can be prepared for a blizzard:
- Make sure your roof can handle at least four feet of snow
- Protect your water pipes from freezing
- Make sure snow equipment are ready to use
Your roof will be your protection against the freezing cold. Residents and business owners of Midland MI can seek help from a commercial flat roofing expert for their roof repair needs.
In every disaster situation, prevention is your best ally. You never know, a few minor adjustments might be all that you’ll need to protect your home against major catastrophes.