Property

What Should You Do if Your Home is in a Natural Disaster Prone Area?

Every home has its unique sets of special features and challenges, and sometimes the most beautiful areas have risks associated with them. Ocean views can also come with hurricane warnings. Large open land and big skies can bring with it a risk of tornados. Hills and valleys by rivers can pose flooding opportunities and rolling timbers can pose a risk of wildfires.

Though a challenge, you don’t have to cross off living in an area that is prone to natural disasters. If the good outweighs the risk and the risk is low, you can make a home in these areas. Just make sure to protect yourself and your property from your unique situations. Don’t leave yourself exposed to risk while enjoying the positives of the area. Keep reading to learn what you should do if your home is in a natural disaster prone area.

Disaster Preparedness: 3 Steps to Prepare Your Finances

1. Check Home Insurance Coverage

Before you buy, look at the area and see what the potential for natural threats are. If a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake has hit the area several years in a row, maybe keep looking. Some natural disasters are freak occurrences. Others seem to happen with statistically frequent timing. Be informed and do your research.

If you’re set on buying, request a homeowners insurance quote before making an offer. The agent might note you’re in a flood plain or find could be reasons they can’t insure the property. It’s better to have all the information upfront. If you decide the property is for you, make sure you know what kind of insurance you need. Some areas require additional flood, tornado, or hurricane riders.

2. Prep Your House

Preparation and advance planning is the name of the game when you live in an area prone to natural disasters. It’s hard to make quick decisions in the middle of an emergency, so have a plan in place before one strikes. That way, you can execute that without extra stress. If you live in a hurricane zone, have boards for your windows. If you’re in an area with frequent tornadoes, have a safe place designated to ride out the storm like a cellar or basement.

When storms are predicted with heavy winds, store outdoor items that could blow away and cause damage. If your area floods easily, keep gutters cleaned out and downspouts working to move water away from your home’s foundation. This is a helpful tip for dry areas prone to wildfires as well. Keep vegetation off your roof and out of your gutters, as it can serve as kindling to help fires spread. Be sure to cut down and clear out dried branches and brush that are near your home too.

3. Stay Informed

There are many reasons you may choose to not watch the news or care for current events. Following sports teams and trends might not be your thing either. But one thing you can’t afford to ignore is the weather. Stay informed on predictions for your area so you can plan accordingly as a homeowner. Even for things as simple as rain, it’s good to know how to plan your yard work.

If a big storm is predicted, you can have advance warning to prep your house and put away lawn furniture. If thunderstorms with hail potential are predicted, you know to try to park your cars in the garage or under cover. Unexpected frost warnings let you know to cover a spring garden. Sign up for local alerts with your news station and weather service. Get yourself a battery operated weather radio as well so you can stay informed even if the power goes out.

4. Have an Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit stocked and ready can be a literal lifesaver when disaster strikes. Make sure you have plenty of water and food stored away. That means a couple gallons of water per person and non-perishable foods. Think canned goods, protein bars, applesauce, pasta, and dehydrated meals. But also make sure you have everything you need to prepare these items. You don’t want to have a week’s worth of canned meals without a can opener.

In addition to an emergency kit at home, create a go-bag. Have a few extra outfits, deodorant, toothbrushes, and shoes packed in case you need to leave the area suddenly. Know where your important documents are like birth certificates as well. When an alert happens, you can add those to your go-bag and keep it with you. Throw in your keys and wallet as well.

5. Connect With Neighbors

It’s good to stay informed, but try to go a step further and get to know your neighbors. When disaster strikes, it takes a village to put back together the pieces. Connect with your neighbors and make a plan. If they are out of town, call them and let them know your area is at risk. Know who your elderly neighbors are as well, since they may need help. Check on them if the weather gets too severe.

Coming together as neighbors can increase everyone’s chance of survival. If you’re in a tornado zone and not everyone has a basement, work together to make a central gathering place. You could offer your basement to the folks across the street to safely pass the storm. Working together can make everyone feel less alone and give support during scary disasters.

As is the way with most things in life, preparation and a plan is key. Take time to understand and research your area. Learn how alerts come out and the likelihood of an event. Following the tips above can set you up for less stress if disaster strikes. Don’t leave yourself exposed — there’s lots you can do to keep your family and your property safe.

 

Jeffery D. Silvers
Love and share my articles, I will be happy to react on it ! Spent 2002-2009 promoting weed whackers in Edison, NJ. Earned praise for importing junk food for fun and profit. Spent 2001-2006 exporting teddy bears in Atlantic City, NJ. Had some great experience investing in tattoos in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Spent 2002-2007 selling action figures in the aftermarket. Enthusiastic about working on basketballs on the black market.