Thursday, July 04, 2013

How to Prepare Your Home for Disaster



Natural disasters are unpredictable and unstoppable. Homeowners need to prepare the house and the family for a disaster especially when in an area that commonly sees events like tornados or earthquakes. It is also important to prepare for some of the secondary issues a disaster creates such as crime or fire. Homeowners can take several steps to prepare a home for a natural disaster.

Install Specific Countermeasures

The first step is to identify what natural disasters are most likely to occur and to install specific systems that will protect the house from the threat. Homes in areas that flood should have a sump pump in the basement. Homes in tornado or hurricane regions should have storm windows. A house in an area that has frequent wildfires should have a sprinkler system and reinforced walls. These countermeasures will protect the house from very specific threats that could cause structural damage.

Home Security Systems

A home security system can protect a home before, during and after a natural disaster. The system can detect fires or carbon monoxide that could appear because of an earthquake or tornado. The home security system will also protect the house from intruders during a disaster. Homeowners can often monitor the different sensors and cameras in a home from a wireless device or laptop even while in a shelter or other location away from the house.

Waterproof Important Items

Water is a hazard during many different types of natural disasters. Any important documents or fragile valuables should be placed in waterproof containers. The container could be a sealed bag, an airtight storage box or even a vacuum-sealed package. This will guarantee that damage to the home will not destroy important papers and personal possessions.

Keep Appliances Out Of Basements and Attics

Homes in areas that experience a high number of natural disasters should not have appliances in the basement or the attic whenever possible. Appliances like water heaters in the basement could cause a fire or electrical problems during flooding. Appliances in the attic are vulnerable to damage if debris or high winds punch holes in the roof and expose the area. It is best to keep appliances in sheltered areas on the ground level so that they sustain minimal damage during a natural disaster.

Preparing a home for a natural disaster also means preparing the family. Families should have a clear evacuation plan and a place to meet outside of the house. Another important element of preparedness is to have an emergency kit ready that contains food, water and a first aid kit.

Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that usually writes about home and family issues. She is a mother of one and spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her family.

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