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Home Maintenance, Potpourri

5 Home Disasters And How To Safely Manage Them

By on Apr 11, 2016
5 Home Disasters And How To Safely Manage Them

Nothing can make your world crash to a halt like a home disaster you weren’t expecting. Though, people shy away from planning for these disasters simply because they are not pleasant to think about. 

Having a plan in place for such events can be hugely beneficial to the security of your family and your home. Here are five home disasters and how you can prepare for and manage them safely.

Flooding

Flood

To reduce your home’s flood risk, fix any foundation cracks and have a rubber roof underlayment installed to make your roof more secure. Also, keep gutters and drains clear so water can be better diverted away from your home. A battery-powered sump pump is definitely a worthwhile investment, as you’ll be able to pump incoming floodwater out of your home immediately. If you live in a higher-risk area, keep a bag with essential documents and supplies ready in case you need to evacuate fast.

During a flood, try to move expensive things in your home to a higher location, to upper floors if possible. Turn your power off to prevent any damage from water meeting electricity. If flooding worsens, evacuate quickly, making sure to steer clear of deep flowing streams or pools.

Repairing water damage is vital after a flood. Though restoration can be expensive, the average homeowner spends $1,936 on repairs from water damage. The cost of not taking action can be considerably higher, with risks of home structure damage, rotting foundations, mold growth and more. Contact a pro to limit long-term damage to your home.

Tornado or Hurricane

If you live in an area where tornados and hurricanes are common, it’s a good idea to build a storm shelter. The average cost of a professionally installed storm shelter is $7,411. Depending on where you live, you may need to apply for a building permit before starting on the structure.

If you’re staying in your home during a heavy storm, avoid using appliances that use water and stay away from the outer walls of your home because they may act as lightning conductors.

When it comes to repairing damages to your home after a heavy storm, figure out what temporary quick fixes you can handle on your own. For example, putting a tarp over a leaking roof can limit water damage until a pro arrives. You should also have your home examined by a pro to determine the extent of the storm damage, as it’s not always easy to spot everything that poses a risk.

Earthquake

Earthquake

The stronger a house’s foundation, the better equipped it is to handle a seismic event. Keep this is mind if you’re renting, buying or building a home in an earthquake-prone location. It’s also wise to minimize the number of unsecured or top-heavy items you have in your home.

During an earthquake, stay away from loose objects that could fall on you. Try to grab hold of something sturdy and protect your head with a pillow or a bigger, secure object like a table. Remember that even when an earthquake appears to have stopped, aftershocks can occur, so don’t abandon your safe space too quickly.

If an earthquake damages your home, foundation repair is crucial. You should not attempt to do this without enlisting the help of a pro.

Fire

To reduce the risk of fire, ensure all persons living in your home understand basic fire safety. Don’t leave the kitchen when you’re cooking and always double check that appliances are turned off before you go to sleep or leave your home. Refrain from smoking indoors and keep flammable items away from ovens and heaters. Also make sure to install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers throughout your home.

If a fire has started and it’s still small, throw a wet towel over it. If the blaze has grown to a size that is too dangerous to manage, focus on escaping immediately. Make sure everyone in the house is aware of the situation and only exit through doors that feel cool to the touch and show no signs of smoke on the other side. Stay low to the ground for better visibility and cleaner air. Call for help if you’re unable to escape and keep smoke at bay by closing windows and stuffing towels or blankets under all doors.

As with other disaster restoration, fire damage restoration should be handled by pros. Fires can weaken a home’s structural integrity and increase the risk of a building collapse if not handled properly.

Burglar

Home Invasion

The most obvious way to help safeguard your home against invasion is a good security system. You should choose a security provider that works best with your home and lifestyle. It’s also smart to lock your doors and windows, especially at night. Call the police when you see a stranger acting suspiciously.

When an intruder enters your home, try to escape discretely. In the event that escape isn’t an option, you and your family should hide quietly. Avoid confronting the intruder if you can and call 911 for assistance.

If you aren’t able to call the police during the invasion, call them as soon as possible afterward. Once you’re sure your home is secure again, start making a list of what items were taken, so that you can report them to the authorities.

Damaged Home

Conclusion

Though no homeowner likes to think about it, home disasters can happen. When it comes to home safety, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Start planning now to defend your home against future disasters.

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