Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, and earthquakes affect millions of people every year, and there’s no sign that they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. These disasters put many homeowners in serious danger, and they also cause a significant amount of damage to your home. Since these natural disasters can strike virtually anywhere in the United States., all homeowners should prepare their homes to withstand any damage. Here are just some of the ways you can protect your home in case of natural disasters:
Make Sure You’re Covered with Insurance
First things first, it’s important you have homeowners insurance that covers a significant amount of damage in the event of a natural disaster. Basic policies may not cover some kinds of damage caused by natural disasters, such as floods. It’s important to review your existing policy and look into getting more coverage so your home is completely protected. At Friends Insurance Brokerage, we’ll make sure to answer any questions you have so you and your home are safe and protected.
- Bolt Your Home to the Foundation: Some earthquakes are so strong that they can separate a home from its foundation – causing thousands of dollars in damage. If you’re in an area that experiences earthquakes, keep your home in place by bolting it to the foundation. Hire a professional to bolt your home to the foundation with anchor bolts – these are strong enough to withstand earthquakes.
- Use Flexible Connections: An earthquake can rip the gas and water lines away from their connection points, which can cause serious injuries and property damage. Thankfully, this problem can be easily prevented with flexible connectors. If the connectors are flexible, they can shift and bend in place during an earthquake, so the gas and water lines will remain intact.
- Turn Off Your Utilities: It’s crucial to turn off your utilities during a tornado to prevent fires, flooding, and gas leaks, but many people are unaware how. It’s best to learn how to shut off the gas, electricity, and water in your home before a tornado or another natural disaster strikes so you are ready to act quickly if necessary.
- Repair Cracks and Holes in the Foundation: Floodwater can sneak into your home through any cracks and holes in your foundation. Once inside, the water can damage your floors, drywall, and your personal items. Fixing water damage is a difficult task, so save yourself the trouble by repairing the cracks and holes in the foundation as soon as possible.
- Stack Sandbags: If you live in an area that is prone to floods, stack sandbags around your doors if a hurricane is expected to hit in the near future. The sandbags should be stacked about a foot high, and they should extend slightly past each side of the doorway so no water can leak into your home.
- Utilize Fire-Resistant Building Materials: Consider rebuilding portions of your home with fire-resistant materials to prevent damage from wildfire. Roofing materials such as clay tiles, metal tiles, and stone are highly resistant to fire. You can also replace your existing window frames with steel frames. These upgrades can keep your house safe in the chance of a wildfire.
- Repairing Your Roof: Hurricane and tornado winds can rip loose, missing, or damaged shingles from your roof, which can lead to leaks throughout the ceiling. Have your roof inspected before hurricane/tornado season so you can make any necessary repairs before they have the chance to strike.
- Reinforce Windows and Doors: Windows and doors need reinforcement in order to withstand strong winds from tornadoes or hurricanes. A temporary solution is to board up all windows and doors with plywood for an imminent storm. A permanent solution to this is installing reinforced doors and windows that are designed to withstand strong winds from tornadoes or hurricanes.
Protecting Your Home
If you live in an area where you’re prone to natural disasters, it’s a great step to take measures to protect your household from any damages. At Friends Insurance Brokerage, we can help you with whatever insurance coverage you need for your home. It’s also important to review your existing policy to ensure you have the protection you need, and we can help you with whatever questions you may have concerning your homeowners insurance coverage.
Call Friends Insurance Brokerage at (718) 648-1313 today!