You expect your home to be a place of safety. Most of the time, that is the case. However, natural disasters happen. While you can’t prevent a natural disaster, you can prepare your home to withstand one when it arrives. Here are some tips for preparing your home for natural disasters.
1. Review Your Homeowner’s Insurance
If you own a home, you most likely have homeowner’s insurance. Insurance will cover a lot of things, but the specifics will vary among different policies. Take some time to review your current plan so that you know exactly what is covered. You should also compare it to other options in case there is a better fit out there. That way, when something happens, like fire or flood, you know you’re covered. Each day, 14,000 people in the United States suffer a water damage emergency at home or work. Meanwhile, 98% of basements will have some water damage in their lifetime. Water damage is very expensive to fix, but as long as you have the right insurance coverage, they will help with the cost.
2. Check the Smoke Detectors
There is a fire in the United States every 23 seconds. You should already have smoke detectors throughout your home, but it is equally important that you check them regularly. The batteries will drain, making the detector ineffective when you really need it. Change the batteries twice a year and test them regularly. If a fire breaks out in your home, you’re going to rely on those detectors to help you get out before it is too late. The sooner you know about a fire, the sooner you can get your family out safely and try to salvage the house.
3. Make Your Will
Only about 32% of Americans have a will, estate plan, or trust. While you likely don’t want to think about your death, making your will is another way of preparing your home for natural disasters. In the worst-case scenario, you want to make sure that your family has the money necessary to fix the house. Make an appointment to do your will and get it over with. Then you won’t need to worry about it again unless you’re making changes to it in the future.
4. Know the Weather Report
While many natural disasters are unexpected, others can be predicted. Make sure that you check the weather report so that you’re aware of things like upcoming hurricanes and snowstorms. These can often be predicted days in advance, giving you an opportunity to fill in the preparation gaps in your home. If you’re caught off guard, you miss the opportunity to prepare. Check the weather each day. While the report isn’t always accurate and can change, it can also help you keep your home safe.
5. Stock Your Pantry
You want to have enough supplies to last you a little while in a natural disaster. You need food and water for your family, as well as supplies in case the power goes out. Even if your home isn’t damaged in a natural disaster, it can take a while for common services to come back. If you prepare ahead of time, your home will remain a safe place for you to wait out the aftermath. Take some time to assess your pantry and medicine cabinet to determine what you have and what you should stock up on.
Natural disasters can’t be prevented, but their damage can often be mitigated by simple preparation. Take these tips and do each one while you have the time and money to do so. That way, when you are dealing with a disaster, you don’t have to worry about them. Your home will be safe.