A Practical Guide to Preparing for Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are a part of the life of many people across the country. But climate change has made it worse as increasing surface temperatures increased the possibility of droughts and the intensity of storms.

Even as natural disasters can come seasonally, they also happen with little warning. Due to this, you should prepare your home for these natural disasters to eliminate or at least reduce the chances of your home bearing the brunt of these natural phenomena. Here are the things you need to do to protect your home from natural disasters.

Create a Disaster Plan

To prepare for a natural disaster, you should create a disaster plan for the family. Make sure everyone is aware of the plan. You can also print it out and give each member of the family a copy of it. The plan should include information about possible evacuation routes, local radio stations, insurance policy, and a checklist of what everyone should do to secure the house. You can also post a copy of the plan on the refrigerator door.

Strengthen the Windows and Doors

To prevent the doors from flying off or the windows breaking due to debris, you should strengthen them before a tornado or hurricane arrives. You can replace your doors with wind-resistant models. You can also install shutters that can remain intact even with strong winds coming from a storm. If you have no funds for the moment, you can board up the doors and windows temporarily with plywood before the storm hits your area.

Work on Large Trees

Large trees can cause a lot of damage to a house, especially in the middle of a storm. Even before the weather bureau spots a storm, you should already work on any trees close to your house. You can remove heavy branches that may fall into the roof of the house. If the branches of the trees on the property of your neighbor, you can ask them to trim them.

If you notice the tree has any structural decay and may fall due to strong wind, you may opt to hire a tree removal service to take out the tree before a storm comes. Removing the tree is a wise decision if it has a big chance of toppling over and falling on your home during a storm.

Prepare Sandbags

To keep floodwaters at bay, you can use sandbags around the doors and other areas where water may pass. The sandbags can divert water to a safer area away from the house. This is particularly true if a hurricane comes your way. To provide adequate protection to your home, you should stack a sandbag barrier at least one foot high.

Locate Electrical, Gas, and Water Lines

You should also locate the main electrical, gas, and water lines so you can turn them off when a major storm is on the way. Turning them off prevents fire and flood hazards when the storm arrives. You should also know how to turn them off. Disconnecting them is also important in case you need to evacuate before a storm hits your area.

Fasten Outdoor Furniture

If you have a deck or a patio with a couple of outdoor furniture, you should fasten them to ensure they do not fly away. For loose items, such as umbrellas or grills, you should move them indoors. You can secure them inside your garage. You should also check if there are any yard tools in the garden. Make sure to keep them inside since they can become projectiles that can break a window or two.

Fasten Heavy Furniture

If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you should make sure to secure any heavy appliances or furniture. Since no one can predict earthquakes, you should do this when you bring them into the house. These items can fall and cause serious injuries, which is dangerous for small children. You can use brackets and fasten them to the walls. You should also make sure to secure other items that may break when they fall.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

When a natural disaster happens, you may have a bit of time to prepare for it. You can buy batteries for the flashlight, food, first aid kit, and backup chargers, among others. But if everyone is doing it at the same time, you may end up without some of the things you need. So, you should prepare an emergency kit ahead of time. Ensure everyone in the house knows where it is, and the supplies should be enough to last you a few days if the disaster cuts off your area from the rest of civilization.

Preparing for a natural disaster is important to ensure your home is well-protected and your family is safe. Don’t take preventive measures for granted.