How To Prepare Your Properties For Natural Disasters
With today’s dynamic climate, we are constantly bombarded with natural disasters in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and mudslides our homes and belongings are in constant peril. Some natural disasters are easier to prepare for than others, however with careful planning and proper coverage, we’ll have an easier time weathering whatever Mother Nature throws at us. Natural disasters don’t discriminate, and virtually all regions of the country, including Hawaii, are subject to the effects of nature.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how to prepare your property for natural disasters, specifically hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, as well as acquiring the proper coverage.
Hurricanes are a constant threat to coastal regions, with high winds, excessive rainfall, storm surge, and the possibility of tornadoes. Warning times can vary from a few hours to several days before landfall. To protect your property from the storm, ensure all your belongings are brought inside your home before the storm.
Hurricane impact windows have quickly become a major selling point for window manufacturers, and many newer model homes incorporate them. Many states, cities, and municipalities have now mandated impact windows into their building code; however, many older style homes may not have impact windows installed.
The best way to secure your windows from damage during the storm is to use a double redundant shutter system.
A double redundant shutter system includes;
• ¾ in plywood bolted directly to the window frame, (be careful not to put screws into any of the windows mechanisms when bolting plywood to the window frame)
• 18 – 22 gauge aluminum shutters or accordion shutters, which are bolted directly to the outside wall of your home covering the plywood.
Hurricanes, colliding weather systems over the plains, and severe thunderstorms are all capable of producing tornadoes. Wind speeds can range anywhere from 74mph up to 300 + mph. The higher the winds, the more catastrophic the damage. Where tornadoes form and exactly when is still a mystery; however, technological advancements have made early detection warning systems more efficient. We know what conditions are conducive to tornado development, which means we can take appropriate steps to protect our property when conditions are starting to become more favorable for development.
• Ensure as many of your belongings that are outside are brought inside. BBQ grills, bicycles, chairs, tables, and anything else that can become airborne.
• You will not have time to shutter your windows, and you should not under any circumstances, crack open or fully open your windows.
• Impact windows are designed to withstand high winds and flying debris; however, one major flaw with impact windows is that the glass will break when something hit it, but the glass will not fall down or collapse. It is held in place by a highly durable, double stick tape.
With hurricanes comes heavy rainfall and storm surge and the potential for massive flooding is real. To adequately prepare your home from a flood,
• Ensure all belongings are brought inside.
• Collect all important paperwork, insurance policies, licenses, contracts, etc… are placed in a watertight compartment are stored in a high place.
• All valuables that are vulnerable to water damage, such as electronics, books, paintings, jewelry, and other valuables are placed in watertight containers and stored in a high place.
• Place sandbags around your home, especially in front of doors and windows near the ground.
• Acquiring the proper coverage for your property can be challenging at times. Many insurance companies exclude certain items. Another challenge faced when searching for renters’ insurance is the fact that insurance companies require you to purchase additional coverage for floods and water damage. Be sure to thoroughly read and review your renters insurance policy yearly to stay abreast of any changes in coverage.
We can’t predict every natural disaster, but with adequate planning, preparation, and proper insurance coverage, we’ll be in a much better position to weather whatever nature throws our way.