It’s a no-brainer that natural disasters can wreak havoc on your home. Catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and even accidents such as fires, break-ins, and other emergencies can do significant property damage.
It could take a great deal of time and work to restore affected structures to their former glory. Therefore, while it may be tempting to dismiss the occurrence of such, it’s best to be prepared and protected.
Importance of Planning Ahead for Home Emergencies
Home upgrades and renovations are critical in keeping your family and loved ones, as well as assets, safe and secure during natural disasters and other catastrophes.
Always remember that functionality and safety should be a top priority when working on home renovation projects or designing a condo, especially if there are young children or elderly in the household who can’t look after themselves as well as other family members do.
Important considerations must also include the needs of its occupants in the years to come. For instance, your restoration plans and designs must strike a balance between creating open spaces for family bonding and having private spaces for your children’s privacy as they grow.
There’s nothing wrong with having particular preferences but see to it that all major safety concerns—both indoors and outdoors—are taken into consideration. Here, both clients and contractors must be hands-on during the renovations so that nothing ever falls through the cracks.
Top 5 Home Emergencies to Prepare for
Fire can escalate very rapidly, and it comes with the added danger of smoke, which may kill a person faster than the flame itself. Installing smoke detectors throughout the house is one of the most efficient ways to prevent and prepare for a fire. Make sure that the batteries are checked and replaced regularly.
Builders should carefully consider the materials they use in areas where wildfires are widespread. A structure’s chance to survive a fire highly depends on flame-resistant materials.
Clay, metal, asphalt, cement tile, or composite shingle should all be used as roofing materials, while masonry, stucco, plaster, or cement should be used to build walls.
You might also want to invest in fire preventive equipment and structures such as fire extinguishers, fire-rated doors, fire-rated glass, and fire exits.
Calamities like floods are almost always unexpected. While you’re watching the weather report to know how much rain will fall, the situation could already be taking a turn for the worse. Here, taking any evacuation notice seriously is a crucial first step for your family’s survival.
Getting home insurance with coverage can give you peace of mind and secure your family’s safety, as well. Then there’s the most important feature of a flood-resistant home: elevation. Multi-level homes will help ensure that you can quickly and safely seek refuge on the upper parts of your property in case rainwater keeps rising.
Floodwalls may also be required to protect residences. Sealants and other special mechanisms can keep a home’s walls watertight.
An earthquake is an extremely dangerous natural catastrophe. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you should be aware of the necessary preparations and precautions.
A basic aspect of earthquake safety is to ensure that forces formed at different floor levels are carried down to the ground through the shortest path possible, as any irregularities or breaks in this path can cause the edifice to collapse.
A housing built to withstand earthquakes ought to be symmetrical and made of superior, flexible materials. Steel and wood, for example, are far more versatile than masonry, unreinforced concrete, and stucco. Strategically positioned beams can also be deployed to redistribute the force of a building’s sway during an earthquake.
Meanwhile, good foundation options include flexible cushions to absorb energy or layered plates to allow for sliding movements.
4. High winds
A property must account for lateral forces on walls and roofs, wind-driven rain, and storm surges along the shore, as well as flying debris, to survive a high wind event.
Know that “missile” debris, such as tree limbs or timber ripped from damaged homes can potentially rupture the home’s outer shell, allowing wind and water in and causing significant damage.
Although only a few structures can resist strong winds such as tornadoes and hurricanes, there are several cost-efficient strategies to minimize damage.
High hurricane winds and wind-driven rain forces can be mitigated with the use of integrally insulated concrete walls. For added protection, extra hurricane straps can be placed on-site. The goal is to build robust and airtight housing.
Burglaries and break-ins can be deterred by simple but strategic architecture. You can stay secure without having to rely on highly expensive security alarm systems.
Depending on the location, a house should be either open and visible – as fences and shrubs could only serve as hideouts for delinquents – or with limited access and visibility for properties in more secluded or remote areas.
Deterring crime by adequately lighting your premises at night is another crucial factor. Often, a few bright lights are all it takes to negate a burglar’s plan.
Make use of some cost-efficient features such as double-paned windows and safety glass to keep intruders out. Not only are these useful for energy saving but they help with security and disasters, too. Choose high-quality locks for all doors and ensure that all windows cannot be forced open.
Be Vigilant and Stay Informed
Building an emergency- or disaster-resistant home does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. If a home is not properly well-built, even non-hurricane levels of rain can cause considerable damage.
While most people associate catastrophes and accidents with specific regions of the country, the situation isn’t always so clear-cut. With this in mind, it’s the responsibility of both homeowners and contractors to comprehensively assess the danger of emergencies and natural disasters – not just in that particular state but also in the neighborhood and nearby locations.
After the risks are evaluated, builders and homeowners must then discuss the most feasible solutions while comparing the cost of strengthening a property’s integrity against the potential cost of catastrophic or accidental hazards.
Diana holds a BA in Communications and Marketing from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. She is also an avid golfer, wine enthusiast, and curious traveler. As the Vice President of Marketing at Titan Metal Products, she oversees the advertising, content management, media relations, promotional activities, and communication initiatives for these companies.