Disaster Preparation for Homeowners
Recently, deadly tornadoes with winds reaching a maximum of 140 miles per hour tore through Dallas, downing power lines and damaging several storefronts in the northern part of the city.
What makes tornadoes so terrifying is not only their potential to cause widespread havoc, but also their unpredictability. It is uncommon for tornadoes to occur at this time of year and cities like Dallas rarely get hit.
Still, the barrage of twisters that happened over the week should be enough to get homeowners to take disaster preparation seriously.
Tornadoes are just a part of a long list of natural phenomena that could cost you your home and, more importantly, your life. Here are a few things you will need to know:
Prepare emergency kits
Every home should have an emergency kit containing flashlights, batteries, blankets, a three-day water supply, and two days worth of food. Additionally, an emergency radio should also be considered in case communications are cut off alongside the power.
This is to ensure that you could survive a crisis in the works.
Stock up on supplies
In the case that you need to bunker down in your home, it would be wise to store as many supplies as you can before a disaster rolls by.
Have enough ready to eat and non-perishable food such as:
- Canned meat, fruits, and vegetables.
- Granola bars
- Pasteurized milk
- Beef jerky
These may come in handy in cases where you won’t be able to leave your home for a long period of time due to a disaster.
Prepare your insurance documents
If you’ve already packed your emergency kits, be sure to secure your insurance papers as well.
Disasters can be hazardous to your home and a smart homeowner should have insurance to back up any damages that might incur.
For this, it’s best to know the specifics of the policy you’re holding and make sure it covers scenarios such as floods, fires, and even tornadoes.
Be ready for any kind of storm at your doorstep
It isn’t enough to just be prepared for disasters at your doorstep. As a homeowner, you have to be aware of what you’re up against.
Going back to the recent Dallas tornado, for example, what exactly should you do when a violent, swirling gust of wind is coming your way? Here are a few things to remember:
- Take cover in the basement or the lowest level of your home. Bring your emergency kits as you do so.
- If no lower level or basement is available, take shelter under a heavy table or workbench and make sure to cover your head.
- Use an emergency radio to know whether the danger has passed. Don’t go outside if you don’t know it isn’t safe yet.
Fortify your home
Of course, you also need to enhance your defenses and prepare the house itself for any disaster. Start by using these important tips:
- Strengthen your doors and windows: Doors and windows can be destroyed or even ripped apart by something as strong as a tornado. Consider getting storm shutters for your windows and extra bracing for your doors.
- Strap large appliances down: If you’re taking shelter indoors, large appliances will be more of a hindrance unless they’re properly strapped down. Secure dressers and bookcases to the wall and bolt down cabinets and heavy appliances like your heater.
- Keep an eye on utilities: Know where the functions of your electricity, gas, and water are before a disaster hits so you can turn them off to prevent further damages.
Homeowners should be prepared for any sort of disaster. Knowing where to begin pushes you closer to safety. For more useful tips for homeowners, check out our blog.