How prepared are you if natural disaster descends on your home? Natural disasters surround us. TV and online video bring home the devastation: forest fires, floods, hurricanes, storm surges, tornados, earthquakes, heat waves, mud slides
After taking time to give thanks that your family and home were spared, why not take the demonstrated lessons of hardship to heart and make sure youre as prepared as possible should natural disaster strike?
Our seven disaster management strategies for your real estate may shift the odds in your favor if trouble strikes:
Most policy holders do not understand their home insurance (or other insurance for that matter). Talk to your insurance broker and to a few other insurance companies to clarify whether the coverage you have is all that you need. If you live near water a reservoir, river, lake or the ocean find out about flood insurance, your level of disaster risk, and alternatives. Pay attention to how FEMA and other agencies support flood and other victims to decide what makes sense for your family home.
Most people include family photos, personal memorabilia, jewelry, art and collectibles as their treasured belongings. The trend toward finished basements has put irreplaceables kept there in jeopardy. Have you made digital copies of photos and documents and taken videos of each room to assist with insurance claims all of which should be kept in a safe place off site?
The lands slant or grade is an essential first step toward keeping water out of your home. If you live near forest or grassland, landscaping that protects your home from wildfire is vital. For instance, plant new trees away from your home. This way, when they are full grown, trees will not transfer fire to your home or fall on your house.
Building codes and fire-safety standards are government regulations that raise construction standards to reduce maintenance costs, improve safety, and minimize damage during natural disasters typical for the area. When building in an area with no or low-level codes, set your own higher standards.
When was the last time you considered fire safety features, drew up family escape plans, or had a family fire drill? Dont wait for wildfire, flood, or storms to talk with your family about how to regroup and stay safe should disaster strike at home or while they are at school or work. Cell phones are great, but they are often knocked out in a storm. Have at least one non-cell Plan B in place.
Which disaster management strategies does your community and state have in place to protect their residents and minimize property damage? Hoping for federal bail-out is not a disaster management strategy. Check with local government and elected representatives to learn what has been decided and what is under discussion. Are you satisfied that their efforts represent all that can be done for your neighborhood?
Do you have supplies of canned and dried foods, bottled water (72 hours worth is a good start), batteries, and other essentials (diapers, medications, etc.) on hand just in case? Governments and relief agencies cant reach everyone in the first days after disaster strikes.
Hoping that disaster never strikes you is not a disaster management strategy.