As much as we hope that we never have to experience a natural disaster, there is no guarantee it can be avoided. It seems that no matter which part of the country you live in you are faced with the risk of experiencing some type of natural disaster at some point. There are some steps you can take to help protect your home and family from a natural disaster.
The first thing that any homeowner should do is evaluate their homes for any risk areas. Using the most common severe weather in your area as a guide, carefully inspect your home and locate any weak spots that may become damaged during a severe storm. During this evaluation process you should also check your home insurance policies to ensure that you have the proper type of coverage for your region. If you discover that you are missing some important types of coverage contact your insurance agent and ask them to add that coverage to your policy.
The next thing that should be done is find out where your home is vulnerable. Depending on the type of severe weather threat your area experiences there are some storm-specific home improvement steps you can take to lower the risk of your home becoming damaged during the next storm. If your area is prone to hurricanes you may want to consider adding storm shutters or installing hurricane straps to help keep your roof in place during high winds.
The third thing you can do is to create an emergency kit. Every home should have an emergency kit that includes water. Experts suggest that you have at least one gallon of water for every person for at least three days. The next thing that you should include is food, a three day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener should be part of your emergency kit. The next thing you will need is a battery powered or hand-crank radio. You should also include a flashlight, first aid kit, cellphone, cash and a whistle in case you need to signal for help. Once you have these basics in your kit you should also add any supplies that are needed to treat special needs.
The next thing that should be done is to take inventory of your personal property. Creating an inventory of all your personal property will make it easier to file any insurance claims should a disaster occur. Not only will a personal inventory make the process of filing an insurance claim easier, it can also be used to apply for federal disaster aid should the need arise.
The final thing that you and your family should do is to create an emergency plan. Your emergency plan should include escape route plans and a specific place where you should all meet if you are separated. Creating an emergency action plan isn’t enough; you should also practice the plan to ensure that everyone knows what they should do and how to proceed.