The earthquakes and typhoons in Asia, the Iowa floods, California wildfires, hurricane in the Gulf and Florida all make us wince just thinking about them. Mother Nature does not give warning nor discriminate. We can all relate to undergoing a natural calamity, know someone who had gone through it and even watched the aftermath on television.
Because of this, you might wonder if your homes are prepared when these things occur. Disasters like earthquakes, fires and windstorms usually prompt building code upgrades as people are more aware of the dangers posed by nature. Nevertheless, even the most updated building codes can still prove inadequate of protecting your home against major catastrophes. It is even worst for older homes which were often built before builders and engineers paid enough attention to strengthening them against disasters.
Below are home upgrades to be able to protect your home when natural disasters strike:
1. Flood disasters destroy your home and your homeowner’s insurance does not cover it. Give further protection for you home by purchasing flood insurance from the government. You can get the maximum coverage for $300 to $600 annually in moderate risk areas. Tell your agent about applying an inflation guard on your policy that increases the coverage amount by three to five percent yearly. Get a professional replacement value appraisal to assess the replacement value of your home accurately.
2. Have the main breaker or the fuse box and the utility meters raised above the flooded level in your home. This way, when your home floods, the water will not damage your power utilities.
3. Install hurricane straps to keep the roof attached to the walls so you will not lose them to high winds.
4. Protect windows and glass by using storm shutters. Use them when severe weather comes. They also protect against flying debris such as tree trunks and other things carried by strong winds.
5. Strap or bolt cupboards and bookcases to your walls and put heavy objects on the lower shelves to avoid them from falling on someone. Also, strap your water heater to a nearby wall to keep gas water heater from falling on someone or starting a fire.
6. Bolt your home to the foundation by using anchor bolts that costs $2 each. Install them every six feet on the outer edges of your home.
7. Put flame-retardant shingles on your roof rather than wood shakes or standard shingles. This cuts the chance of burning debris in the air catching fire on your roof.
8. Set aside a considerable emergency fund. Some states place a large deductible on claims that involve natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Make sure that you have sufficient funds to cover your deductible with your additional living expenses. Insurance companies will pay for additional living expense but they require you to shoulder the expense first and they will reimburse you for it. Keep all receipts for eating out, temporary housing and any other additional costs for being away from home if you must vacate it for repairs.
Nobody wants to think about a disaster striking his or her family, but it happens whether you like it or not, so you should take measures to prepare your home and your family for it.