The typhoons and earthquakes in Asia, the floods in Iowa, wildfires in California and the hurricane in Florida and the Gulf make us cringe just thinking about them. Mother Nature does not discriminate nor give warnings. Most of us can relate to a natural disaster, know someone or has family and relatives who have undergone it and watched its aftermath on television.
Because of this, you might ask yourself if your home is prepared if these things happen. Disasters such as fires, earthquakes normally prompt upgrades on building codes as more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers nature can do. However, even the most updated building codes can still be vulnerable and insufficient to protect your home against major disasters. Older homes suffer even worst fate since they are usually built before engineers and builders paid more attention to strengthening them against calamities.
Following are home upgrades that help protect your home when disasters strike:
Floods destroy your property and your homeowner’s insurance does not cover it. Provide added home protection by buying flood insurance from the federal government. You can get a maximum coverage for $300 to $600 per year in areas with moderate risks. Ask your insurance agent to apply an inflation guard on your policy that increases the amount of coverage by three to five percent every year. Have a professional replacement value appraisal accurately assess the replacement value of your home.
Get the main breaker, fuse box and the utility meters raised above the flooded level in your house so in the event that your home floods, your power utilities will not be damaged by water.
Secure your roof by installing hurricane straps to keep them attached to the walls during strong winds.
Use storm shutters to protect your windows and glass and use them when severe weather approaches. They also protect from flying debris like tree trunks and other things transmitted by strong winds.
Bolt or strap your bookcases and cupboards to the walls and store heavy objects on the lower shelves to keep them from falling on someone. Also, make sure to strap the water heater to a wall to keep it from starting a fire or falling on someone.
Use anchor bolts to bolt your home to the foundation. They cost about $2 each. They must be installed every six feet on the outer border of your house.
Use flame-retardant shingles on your roof instead of the standard shingles or wood shakes. This lessens the possibility of burning debris in the air catching fire on the roof.
Prepare a considerable emergency fund. Some states place large deductible on claims involving natural calamities like hurricanes and earthquakes. Make sure you have appropriate funds to cover your deductible with additional living expenses. The insurance company will let you shoulder the expense first and will reimburse you for it. Keep all your receipts for temporary housing, dining out and other additional expenses for being away from your home should you leave it for repairs.
Nobody likes to think about a calamity striking his or her home and family, but it happens and you should ensure that your home and family is prepared to face it when it comes.
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