2017 was the most expensive year for natural disasters in the US costing a hefty $307 billion according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. From fires to hurricanes, the year was just riddled with extreme weather events. New York had its share of disasters with the last one being the 2016 North American cold wave. The state is vulnerable to severe winter storms, drought, floods, tornadoes, mudslides and summer storms. While global warming and climate change certainly paid a huge part for these natural disasters, there is not a lot that people can do to prevent nature from taking its own course.
However, planning and preparing for a disaster can help stave off the undesirable effects of calamities. As a homeowner, it is important to prepare your house to avoid extensive losses and save yourself the heartache of stress and anxiety. Being prepared, however, means more than getting ready for a natural disaster physically but also making sure that your finances are covered adequately should the unthinkable happen.
Check Your Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
Last year’s massive disasters cost insurance companies a lot of money. It’s essential that homeowners take out a home insurance policy and if you have one, check that you have adequate coverage if a disaster strikes your house. For example, a house in low lying areas or near the beach is prone to flooding and will need a bigger coverage. Renters should also update their insurance to ensure that coverage for personal possessions is sufficient. Bear in mind that flood insurance is separate so you will have to purchase this on top of your regular house insurance.
Do a Good Maintenance
Some property losses and damages can be avoided or mitigated if proper maintenance of the home is undertaken regularly. A simple cleaning of gutters and drains can help a lot in preventing the accumulation of water ensuring the free flow of water during heavy rains and intense storms. Checking the roof for leaks and wear will also avert a major disaster during storms and rains. If you have trees on your property, make sure that they are healthy and are trimmed regularly. A diseased tree is likely to fall with high winds causing property damage. New York is also known for its tough winters so you should insulate pipes to keep them from freezing and know how to shut water and gas valves off in an emergency.
Upgrade from Time to time
In addition to regular house chores and maintenance, you might upgrade your home as budgets allow. When you renovate, keep the safety feature in mind. For example, if you are replacing your roof, get one that is resistant to hail, hurricane or fire. You can also add storm shutters to your beach home or high-impact window glass. In short, try to use resistant materials that can protect your home from extensive damage should natural disasters strike.
Preparing a home for the unforeseen risks enables you to respond faster when natural disasters occur. Better-prepared civilians and homes also put lesser pressure on emergency response teams focusing their attention on those who are caught off guard. Moreover, you reduce damage to your home which means less financial and mental stress and anxiety for you.