How to Prepare Your Home for a Natural Disaster

While some natural disasters are predictable, others arrive quickly and suddenly giving you little time to react. Thankfully, by proactively preparing for possible disasters, you can not only keep yourself, your family and your home safe but also maintain a level head and prevent worse case scenarios in a calm manner.

The first step in natural disaster preparation is to educate yourself and get organized. Ask yourself a few of these questions:

What types of natural disasters are popular in my area, and how frequently do they occur?
Understanding the potential weather in your area can help you protect your home better and understand the risks and timeline you have once one appears in the forecast. Become familiar with your city’s evacuation policies and zones if any exist. Create a list of relevant emergency numbers for downed power lines, gas leaks and other hazards.

What type of damage occurred during the last natural disaster in my area?
Most homes can withstand a surprising amount of pounding from these threats, and are even stronger with a few adjustments. Researching past storms can give you an idea of what products you can use on your home to prevent damage. For example, a homeowner living in a southeastern US coastal city that is regularly threatened with hurricanes and high winds would be safer with storm windows and a reinforced garage.

What are the most important items in my home I need to protect?
Of course, you and your family’s safety are most important, but keeping track of your most important documents and valuables can save you money and from stress in a situation where your home is in danger. Keep a remote file digitally, or store all of your documents safely in a fire and water-safe container with your social security cards, insurance information, birth certificates, and any additional legal documents that are needed.

The last step is to make sure you have enough supplies if you are remaining home during a natural disaster. Don’t wait to stock up at the grocery store the day before the event is scheduled to hit. It’s also smart to keep a well-stocked emergency safety kit at all times.