There’s nothing worse than being caught off guard during a natural disaster and losing all kinds of essential things at home. More importantly, it could be dangerous, and you always have to think about the safety of your household. It’s time to learn 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster to protect your loved ones and your property.
1. Investigate Different Types of Disasters in Your Area
First, you need to find out what kind of disasters you might face in your city because preparing for hurricanes and tornadoes differs from planning for flooding, fires, or earthquakes. You need to know what areas in your home will be most affected no matter what happens, and you need a proper plan for each possible emergency.
When you start your arrangements, you must consider protecting your family first through any possible means. You might need to evacuate as quickly as possible, so you must be prepared to leave the house without much delay. You could also hide inside your home, meaning you should have an equipped room to protect everyone from the elements.
Once you have a plan for your family’s safety, you can think about covering your home structure and possessions. You can take several measures to reinforce windows and doors to ensure no natural disaster breaks them or seeps through. You should always expect the worst and consider what to do when even your best plans go awry. This initial research is a great start, but this is just one of the 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster. There’s much more to learn.
2. Have Potable Water Available
During any disaster, your utilities will usually be out for a while, and the most important one is water. Even if you have a private well, that water might’ve been contaminated during the emergency, so you must have a backup source. You’re going to need potable water for hydrating and making food. You’ll also require regular water to flush toilets, clean up, brush your teeth, etc. That’s why tons of people stock up on bottled water during emergencies, and you should always have a stash in your basement or wherever you’re going to hide during a natural disaster.
It’s also a good idea to keep portable systems such as water softeners in your home. That way, you’ll be able to have safe water for your family because it’s extremely easy to get sick because of germs and other contaminants. Therefore, you need some kind of water sanitizing method, such as a filtration system or purification pills. You can never be too safe. Always use water you know has been adequately sterilized, but if you don’t have any of the previous recommendations for sanitation, you need to boil it.
It would help if you avoid drinking alcohol during and after an emergency, not just because it can impair your judgment, but mainly because it dehydrates your body quicker. After securing water, you can stock up on canned food and dehydrated meals. Let’s continue learning about the 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster.
3. Protect Your Home
Once you have thought about water and food, you need to consider the harm your house might face. If you’re going to hide on your own property, you need to secure it as much as possible to prevent any hazards. If a huge storm or flood is coming, you should call a waterproofing company to inspect certain aspects of your home, particularly the basement, the roof, the walls, etc., so water won’t enter. Water damage can be some of the most complicated and expensive home repairs, so it’s best to be ready.
A basement waterproofing service will ensure the integrity of your underground space, so your family can weather the disaster easily, knowing they’re safe. On that note, you should also consider window caulking, which will seal any cracks and spaces where water could enter and ruin everything. Once you finish the little details, you can reinforce everything else, like doors. People use various materials for that, and some homeowners even use sandbags because they’re heavy and can divert water.
Regarding flooring, you can buy a carpet film protector or a plastic sheet to cover everything. Your walls will benefit from corner guards and drop cloths. You should also think about pruning some of your trees if you have them. Branches can break off during fast storms and other disasters and crash into houses, causing even more damage.
4. Be Ready For Emergency Repairs
You can prepare as much as possible for emergencies, but there’s a big chance you’ll need repairs at some point. Homeowners need to be proactive and start fixing things quickly. Have someone from a plumbing repair company on hand and call them as soon as possible because you’ll need to get your pipes ready. Ensure that they check for slab leaks, which are often not noticeable at first but can be terrible for a house. You can find 24 hour emergency plumbing in some cases but don’t stress if you can’t reach them. You can use your potable water supply until you can get running water again.
Furthermore, you could have electric damage, and any wiring issues could be hazardous. You need your home to start working correctly, so call an emergency electrician once the dust has settled so you can be the first house they visit. One of the best things you can do is check if your home insurance covers some of these repairs because fixing your home after a disaster could be extremely expensive. Continue reading to learn more about the 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster.
5. Add An Electric Generator to Your Home
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get any repairs during the actual disaster or for a while afterward if the situation harshly affected your city. Therefore, it’s best to be ready with an electric generator. You can get a sizeable industrial system or a portable setup to help while the power is out. You’ll need them for many reasons, like charging your phones and cooking. There are great options for standby generators in most home stores or online.
However, some people think spending any kind of money on a generator is overkill, especially when they don’t know how damaging the disaster will be. You never know what could happen in these situations. That’s why there are 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster. Being ready is about planning for all the worst possible scenarios, and there’s no telling how desperately you’ll need electricity during an emergency. Generators often help rescue teams during recovery and can guide people seeking shelter.
6. Have an Evacuation Plan
No matter how ready you are and how much you have reinforced your house, you should always be prepared to evacuate your area. Some natural disasters, like wildfires, can’t be faced by hiding in the bathroom or basement. You need to leave immediately and get your family to safety. Usually, every city has evacuation procedures if their weather conditions are complicated, and they might have shelters prepared. However, you have to think about your entire family while designing your exit.
Do you have young kids? Buy a harness to strap them on your body so you can run from an area quickly. Is there someone else with mobility issues? Have wheelchairs or be ready to carry them too. Do you have animals? Prepare crates and leashes for them and keep them in the same spot. You should also try to find the best evacuation routes to avoid getting caught at a dead end.
Furthermore, find shelters that will ensure the safety of your whole household. Some places don’t allow pets, and you can’t leave them behind. Therefore, a little research can help you find a spot that lets dogs, cats, birds, etc., in, so you won’t have to abandon any of your loved ones.
It’s also helpful to practice an emergency evacuation with your family. It might seem tedious, but it’s one of the 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster. You can show them how to be quicker, get in the car correctly, and secure the entire family so you’ll be on your way as soon as possible. Don’t leave anything to chance.
7. Move or Protect Your Furniture
If you’re going to be away from home or hiding in a certain room, think about the items that could be exposed to the elements during an emergency. Sometimes, it’s helpful to cover your furniture with protective blankets, so it won’t crack or dent the walls if they move. You can disassemble as many pieces as possible and place them in boxes. Some of your things might be small and lightweight, so it’s easier for them to move during harsh storms.
You must also think about your outdoor furniture, which is the most vulnerable. If you don’t have anywhere to place it inside the house, you need to secure it with rope or anything else available. You can also cover them, but you should expect some damage. People in earthquake zones like to drill their belongings, such as bookshelves, portraits, etc., into the wall, so they won’t move or fall over. Earthquakes are more complicated to predict than other disasters, so ensure your shelves can’t move at all.
8. Make Emergency Bags
Some people scoff at the idea of having emergency backpacks, but it’s better to be ready. If you live in a natural disaster zone, you could benefit from making several bags with particular items that’ll help your loved ones. Always have flashlights and extra batteries. Add basic medication like pain relievers and allergy medicine along with a first aid kit. A bottle of drinking water is always a good idea, too.
Include some protective gear like helmets and masks if there’s enough space, but think about food, such as granola bars, dehydrated meals, etc. You can make an emergency bag for every family member and keep it in their rooms. However, you should have at least one in each car just in case there’s no time to get inside the house. Don’t underestimate the peace you’ll get by following these 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster.
9. Gather All Your Important Documents
Always keep your vital documents, such as birth certificates, passports, insurance, Social Security cards, etc., in one place so you can take them quickly while evacuating. It’s best to use a waterproof folder or something similar, so the papers won’t get ruined no matter what happens. Your home insurance files are the most critical items you’ll need immediately after a natural disaster.
Some people have lost their homes because they didn’t have any insurance or the proper documentation. It’s terrible to be unable to repair your own house. Fortunately, most insurance policies for homeowners cover typical natural disasters and more. You might even be compensated for emergency expenses like hotel rooms and food. However, you must check your coverage is extensive because it’s one of the 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster.
10. Fill All Your Gas Containers
Finally, you need to have some kind of fuel. You might not need it, but it’s one of the 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster. Never leave your car’s gas tank empty. Meanwhile, if you have a generator, you’ll need fuel to run it, so you must fill as many containers as possible.
However, you must buy the proper equipment and learn to store it safely. A portable generator can have around five gallons of gasoline, but you’ll need to add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from becoming thicker in storage. Otherwise, you’ll have to run your generator dry occasionally and fill it with fresh gas.
If you follow these 10 ways to prepare for a natural disaster, you won’t have any issues during these complex emergencies, and your family will be safe. You’ll also be able to mitigate the costs of repairs and be prepared in case utilities are unavailable for a while. Never be caught off guard!