Published On: Tue, Oct 27th, 2020

Is your home really disaster proof? Here’s your checklist

Hurricane Irma/ credit Paulbr  

 The threat of climate change is becoming more humongous than ever before. Floods, hurricanes, forest fires are plaguing our localities and there’s so little being done to tame the beast. However, to protect yourself from this disaster, it is essential to protect your house first. There are ways you can prevent your house from collapsing when the fury unleashes, and here’s a checklist you can follow:

1) Check the risk level of your area:

If there is one thing that has always been true, it is the saying: prevention is better than cure. Yes, such natural disasters are majorly spontaneous and hence it is difficult to predict its onset.

However, a little attention to patterns will reveal that each area has their own risk levels. Look out for local maps and check the areas prone to flood, earthquake, hurricane near your locality. Do some more research to add authenticity to your data. This can be of really great help, as it keeps your guards high and your mind informed.

2) Prepare an emergency preparedness kit:

No matter how much you prepare for disasters like these, hell breaks loose once they come close to your home. Thus, being mentally prepared won’t suffice. If you are staying in a disaster-prone area or any other place for that matter, gather a few emergency items and keep them at an arm’s length for you to access whenever needed.

At least a steady supply of food and water for 3 days, medicines, tablets, emergency tools like a torch, whistle, swiss knife, basic toiletries can go a long way in saving your day.

However to top them all, are documents: insurance papers, social security cards, medical records, any other identity cards. To help you get through a day in a disaster-stricken place, these documents can be crucial.

3) Get your home insured:

A homeowners insurance plan should be your holy grail (or at least the closest thing to it). Whenever floods, earthquakes, tornadoes hit inhabited localities, they wreak havoc. Despite being prepared, a lot of property damage occurs and it becomes nearly impossible to retrieve any of that without an insurance plan. Hence, start searching for home insurance, check the types of coverage it provides, ask about supplemental plans. That being said, it must be noted that all homeowners insurance plans don’t cover for damages caused by natural disasters. Hence, it’s imperative to check the terms of your insurance policy

Knowing the exact definition of hazard insurance can be a good entry point to your research. Specifics like hazards insurance, mortgage protection give you much-needed insight about these insurance coverages. The types of hazards can range from an earthquake to a windstorm. Some plans provide both coverage, while others only one. Thus, while there’s still time, educate yourself.

4) Check your foundation:

Over the years, the foundation of your house can weaken. Thus, it is imperative that the house is checked for structural damages. Repair any cracks in the wall as soon as you notice.

5) Annual checkups:

Your preparedness encompasses many other aspects other than just wall cracks. In the time of an earthquake, a gas leak can be lethal, and can cause fires as well. Know your gas outlet, and cut the gas line as soon as the disaster hits your house.

Electrical wires have been menacingly distressful in these times of crisis. Hence, get them checked annually and search for any short circuits, breaches in continuities and fix them as soon as possible.

Create escape plans in cases of fire damage, or earthquakes for that matter. Making a full-fledged plan of how you will react in these conditions can prime your reflexes allowing you to act faster and more swiftly.

6) Find yourself a safe room:

While in some disasters, evacuating the house can get rid of your problems, in others you need a safe room or place to duck the intensity. Identifying a safe room becomes essential because during wind damages, getting your family assembled into a room could be the only possible way to minimise the losses. However, if you are in a mobile home, a sturdy shelter will be needed, and hence be prepared for that too.

7)  Educate yourself about NWS vernacular:

National Weather Services is an organization that issues hurricane watches and different bulletins making us aware of weather status. These watches help us predict the severity and timing of the hurricanes. In recent years, the deleterious effects of climate change have been significantly prominent. Under such circumstances, knowing their vernacular will help you remain updated.

Natural disasters can come anytime they wish to. There is nothing in our power to stop them, except trying to reduce the pollution maybe. Meanwhile, there’s something under your control: protecting your house. Hence, try following these points to make yourself more aware and ready. The clock is ticking faster than ever, what are you waiting for?

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