How to protect your home from natural disasters
2012 was the second consecutive year that the mid-Atlantic and Northeast suffered devastating impacts from a named storm. Both Sandy and Irene acted as devastating forces, wreaking havoc upon our lands. Storms struck many parts of the country, including tropical storms Beryl and Debby in Florida, Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana, and Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy in New Jersey.
“Last year proved that it’s wrong to think that only major hurricanes can ruin lives and impact local economies,” said Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “We are hopeful that after the 2012 hurricane season, more families and businesses all along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts become more “weather ready” by understanding the risks associated with living near the coastline. Each storm carries a unique set of threats that can be deadly and destructive. Mother Nature reminded us again this year of how important it is to be prepared and vigilant.”
Learning from past experiences, developers nowadays employ earthquake-resistant materials in the construction of apartment buildings, arrange safe exists and install emergency alarms, fire hoses , extinguishers and even basement flood pumps to be used in case of vicious happenings. Most new apartments and restored properties have been equipped with all the safety features and retrofittings necessary to ensure their protection against major damage during earthquakes, storms or other natural calamities.
Damage caused by most disasters, including hurricane, earthquakes and poor maintenance is covered by insurance policies but destruction or loss of renters’ possessions is not usually covered by the landlord’s insurance. If you rent a house or an apartment, renters insurance is your best bet against a wide array of mishaps, losses from fire or smoke, windstorm, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, or water damage.
Here are a few tips to further protect your home in case disaster strikes.
Preparedness can be a life saver. Assess your apartment’s vulnerability to natural calamities. Know whether the location of your home is prone to tornadoes, floods or landslides and have an evacuation plan prepared for you and your family (pet included). Find safe areas within your building where you could take refuge if winds become strong such as basements, bathrooms or hallways.
Keep an emergency kit at hand. A basic emergency supply kit could include the following items: water, non-perishable food, flashlights, generators and battery-powered equipment such as cell phones and a portable radio, a first aid kit and essential medications.
Inspect your property from time to time and make sure your landlord has all the spring cleaning issues taken care of. Trim trees and shrubbery so branches don’t fly into your home, clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts. Also take some time to review your insurance policy. It’s not my idea of fun either but it’s true what they say: better to be safe than sorry.
For additional information and tips that may help you, your family or your business prepare for a natural disaster go to Ready.gov.