How to Protect Your Home and Family When Disaster Strikes
It would be nice if we could wrap our homes and families in bubble wrap to protect everything from disaster, but thatís not very realistic. The good news is, there are several steps that you can take to protect your home and family when disaster strikes. Here are some of the most feasible tips to help secure your home and your family during a disaster.
Ensure Your Home Can Stand Up to Mother Nature
One of the best things homeowners can do to protect your home and family when disaster strikes is to begin your weather defense by contacting a licensed roofing professional to make sure your roof is ready for hurricanes. Licensed professionals can install a high-wind-rated roof cover and securely fasten it to the house with hurricane straps or clips.
These roofers also will inspect your roof to be sure any damaged or missing shingles are repaired or replaced and are free of overhanging branches. If it is time to get a new roof, your contractor should seal the joints between the sheathing panels that comprise the roof deck to prevent water driven by wind from getting in. These weather-related home improvements will require some up-front costs, but they will add protection that is priceless when disaster strikes.
Be Proactive If You are in a Flood-Prone Area
No home is absolutely guaranteed to be safe from flooding, but your homeís location may make it more susceptible to flooding. If thatís the case, you should consider obtaining flood insurance in order to help protect your home and family when disaster strikes. While flood insurance may be costly, it is not as expensive as the cost of repairing the damage that is associated with flooding. It is recommended that homeowners get flood insurance as soon as you are able, because it often takes 30 days before the policy becomes effective.
Itís also important to take the proper steps to protect your home and family in the event of a flood warning. First, you should move possessions to a higher level of your home. If you live in a ranch-style home, you should put furniture and appliances up on blocks to elevate them off the floor. Get as many things off the floor as possible, including area rugs. And, remember to shut off electrical service at your homeís main breaker.
Remember to Prepare Around Your Home, Including Your Swimming Pool
Preparing your outdoor areas is just as important as preparing the inside of your home and your home itself when a natural disaster is imminent. Place outdoor furniture, dťcor, childrenís play things, etc. in a garage or storage shed if severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes are in the forecast. The fewer things that are loose outside to fly around and cause damage to your home, the better.
Itís also important to prepare your pool for a hurricane, because pool owners have made such a large investment to install their swimming pools in the first place. One thing to keep in mind is to leave the water in your in-ground pool during hurricane warnings. The water weighs down the pool and protects your poolís finish from debris. If you absolutely need to drain some water from your pool before a hurricane, do not lower the water level by more than one or two feet. Additionally, be sure to add extra chlorine to help protect against potential contamination in the water during the storm.
Pool owners also should leave their pools uncovered in the event of a hurricane, because the strong winds can loosen the cover and blow it away, causing a great deal of damage. Itís also a good idea to leave your pool uncovered because debris could damage it or water could collect on the cover and collapse it. One final step pool owners can take to protect their pools during a hurricane is to turn off the breaker system to the pool, all mechanical systems in the pool, and all pool lights. This includes protecting your filter by removing the pump and securing it in a safe, dry area or wrapping the pump with watertight plastic and securing it to prevent water damage.
A little bit of time, effort, and money can go a long way when it comes to protecting your home and family when disaster strikes. By being proactive and taking the necessary steps to safeguard your home and property, you will potentially save your home and family from much more expensive and extensive damage.
Jasmine Dyoco is a fan of crossword puzzles, gardening, books on tape, learning (anything!) and fencing. She truly enjoys the work she does with Educator Labs and hopes youíll stop by the site to learn more!
Image via Flickr by Percita