Editors Note: A guest post from Herman Davis to The Prepper Journal.
As most people know, disasters can strike without warning in a matter of minutes. In 2011, for example, the United States set a historic record for disaster alerts, according to the Homeland Security News Wire. The article also reported that each disaster that occurred that year was valued at approximately $12 billion in damage. This means that throughout 2011, the total damage accounted for was about $53 billion.
With that being said, thinking long and hard about disaster preparation and how you can take steps to try and disaster-proof your home allows homeowners to prepare ahead of time — avoiding the worst possible outcome like losing prized possessions, or fatalities. So by preparing your home in advance, homeowners will be able to strengthen the foundation of their home and be better able to withstand the harsh environments natural disasters bring, enabling you and your family members to take the necessary actions needed to ensure you both survive the battle.
Although it’s nearly impossible to fully mitigate the dangers brought on by natural disasters, there are steps families can take towards reducing the amount of internal destruction done — both mentally and physically. Preparing ahead of time will not only protect your home but protect your finances as well.
Getting the right kind of disaster preparation protection
Although filling a property insurance claim might seem straightforward, if you wait until after a natural disaster to research the ins and outs, you might very well find yourself in a frustrating insurance battle. Perhaps the most important step is making sure you’re covered before disaster strikes. Once you’ve had the opportunity to take a good look at your homeowner’s insurance policies and speak with other residents in the area, you might soon realize that the plan you chose isn’t beneficial for your family. When it comes to natural disasters – like flash floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes — the type of insurance plan available is essential to your homes well being. In this case, it’s always better to have too much protection and not use it than to have not enough and need it later on down the road. That said, it’s never a bad idea to purchase additional coverage – if it fits within your budget – to cover your home from all the different potential dangers out there. Also note that items like expensive jewelry, art, and furniture need to be specified in the coverage and documented with photos and receipts. That $95,000 Steinway Concert Grand piano in the Music Room could translate into a used upright in the flash of an eye.
Generally speaking, earthquake insurance can cost anywhere from $100 to $3,000 depending on where you live. Flood insurance, on the other hand, usually costs about $570 annually. If you do decide not to purchase additional coverage, just make sure that you’ve saved a fair amount of money for out of pocket expenses on your home in the aftermath of things.
Make Good Use of Extra Space: Learning to think outside the box is critical when it comes to disaster-proofing your home. Normally, when most people think of emergency supplies for disasters, they typically go for water containers, canned food, and clothing items. They don’t, however, think about the possibilities that can happen around the house. Power outages, for instance, are a common occurrence when floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes strike, and not having power can become a problem if the temperature outside is too hot or too cold.
So, if you have empty space around your home, freeze water when the power’s no longer accessible. If it’s extremely hot outside and the powers out, gather the ice from the freezer and place it in a bag to help you cool off. It might just help avoid a heat stroke.
Prepare a family disaster preparation kit
According to Eastern Kentucky University, over 139 million are affected by natural disasters. That said, it’s important to keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of you and your family members for at least 72 hours. Assembling an emergency family kit with items already stored in it is essential for everyone in the house in case you’re forced to evacuate the area immediately. Make sure you store your supplies in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container, like a suitcase, duffel bag, or storage container. You should also make sure that your container is able to carry the minimum:
- Water (two gallons per person)
- Food for at least three days
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with extra batteries – this will help signal for help if you’re stranded
- Pet food and extra water
- Important family documents
Inspect the Parameters Around Your Home: In order to make sure your home is completely disaster-proof, it’s best to secure the outdoor items – like bicycles, lawn furniture, and playground equipment. That’s because when objects are thrown around from high winds generated from the disaster, they can cause damage to the home by breaking windows, lights, and possibly even hit someone.
Check Your Generators: If you’re looking to rent or buy a generator, you should first get yourself familiar with it. While generators are important to have when the power goes out, it’s important to know that they can’t survive everything. That said, when it’s not in use, make sure you remember to unplug it. This will help prevent premature wear-and-tear on the equipment and lessen the risk that it becomes a causality of the disaster.
In the end, don’t always expect everything to go according to plan. In fact, you should always set aside other alternatives just in case the first option doesn’t work out. Remember to always be on guard when it comes to protecting your home and your family. That way, you won’t have any regrets later on.
Thanks for the read! With so many things to consider when preparing your home for a disaster, I couldn’t possibly list them all. So, I turn to you, the readers. What are so other ways homeowners can prep their homes for an emergency before it’s too late?
About the Author: Herman Davis loves exploring the outdoors and being active. If you can’t catch him online reading, you might be able to catch him out playing football with friends or cheering on the Boise State Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241. Thanks!
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