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Published On: Mon, Oct 31st, 2016

Billions in Hurricane Damage Has Homeowners Thinking Twice About Disaster Preparedness

Homes lost. Cities underwater. Thousands misplaced.

The southeastern United States is still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Although coverage of the storm has been eclipsed by the events of the Presidential election, Matthew is responsible for over $1.5 billion dollars in damages to North Carolina alone. As the hurricane season has little over a month left, homeowners can’t help but think about future preparedness when it comes to disasters.

Hurricane Isaac NASA photo

Hurricane Isaac NASA photo

The devastation of hurricanes is nothing new to southern states; however, many unfortunate citizens of North Carolina are experiencing the classic pitfalls of not being prepared for such a storm. Considering that over 900 people have been aided by boat rescue crews, it’s incredibly clear that some people simply don’t want to heed the warnings of mother nature.

Home preparation isn’t a one-size-fits-all process: however, there are steps any homeowner can take to keep their homes safe from the elements of nature and give you peace of mind if you’re forced to evacuate. From tropical storms in the south to earthquakes on the west coast, consider the many ways to protect the interior of your home from natural disasters.

Durable Interior Décor

Every piece in your home is an investment, from furniture to the seemingly subtle aspects of your decorating: purchasing the sturdiest materials possible is a win-win for ensuring that you’re well-equipped if a disaster strikes. Although some damage to your home may be inevitable in the case of a hurricane or earthquake, consider durable décor that can..

  • Protect your windows: purchasing aluminum blinds and triple-pane windows represent a safe bet versus flimsier options
  • Save your sitting pieces: wooden furniture, especially pieces constructed from hardwood, can withstand just about anything (and can also be salvaged in the case of a flood)
  • Hard-wire anything that’s hanging: ensure that anything attached to your wall, whether it be pieces of art or your television, is secured by metal versus plastic

Think about it: the sturdier your décor, the more likely it is to take a beating in case of the worst.

Off the Wall

Especially in the face of a disaster, it’s crucial that you try to remove as much as you can from your walls and make sure you stay isolated if your home is facing any sort of direct hit. “Duck and cover” is often the name of the game in the case of tornado or earthquakes; however, you can put yourself in real danger if anything on the wall could potentially strike you. In this case, be smart about what you decide to hang up, avoid keeping anything excessively valuable on the wall and remove such items from your rooms if you catch wind of a potential disaster.

Protecting Your Home on Paper

Beyond physical preparedness, a bit of legal legwork can going a long way to keeping your property safe. The specifics of flood or earthquake insurance can be quite confusing, so make sure you understand any potential policies inside and out.

Although such policies may be relatively inexpensive, you may want a lawyer to help you sift through the legalese. If you’re in an apartment, a renter’s insurance policy is most definitely advised if you live in an area prone to disasters.

Nobody wants to stress out about “what-if” scenarios, but ask yourself: what’s your disaster plan and how are you protecting your home from potential threats? Making the right investments and understanding the devastation of potential disasters could be difference between peace of mind and losing just about everything.

Author: Carmelo Hannity

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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