Preparing Your Home For A Storm

Home / News / Preparing Your Home For A Storm

As we’ve seen large storms hit both coasts recently, it’s a good idea to use the old Boy Scout motto and “be prepared.” We are going to review general steps to take to prepare for something we of course never happens. Natural disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes, wield a devastating power that leaves homeowners and entire communities grappling with significant property damage and high repair costs.

The Financial Impact of Natural Disasters on Homes
In 2022, the Insurance Information Institute documented nearly $100 billion in insured losses stemming from natural disasters. Here’s a breakdown of the data:

Severe storms: These accounted for over $29 billion.
Earthquakes: About $14.7 billion per year, as per a joint study between the USGS and FEMA.
Floods: 15 instances in 2022 led to $3.3 billion in losses.
Wildfires: Resulting in a staggering $8.9 billion from 26 separate events.
Hurricanes: Three events led to a total loss of $53.2 billion.
Winter storms: Produced $4.1 billion in damages from 13 occurrences.
How Can Homeowners Prepare?
1. Reinforce Vulnerable Areas
Install wind-resistant doors and storm-proof shutters.
Use plywood to board up windows and doors when a storm approaches.
2. Know Your Utilities
Identify where water, gas, and electrical lines are and know how to shut them off.
3. Water Diversion
Use sandbags around entryways and flood-prone zones.
4. Secure Loose Items
Ensure outdoor furniture is tied down.
Move grills, tools, toys, and other items inside.
5. Tree Maintenance
Trim trees regularly to prevent overhanging branches from causing damage.
6. Furniture Safety
In earthquake-prone areas, attach heavy furniture to walls.
7. Landscaping Smartly
Choose fire-retardant plants like Rockrose and aloe, and avoid flammable trees like pines.
8. Guard Against Pipe Bursts
Wrap vulnerable pipes to protect them during extreme cold.
9. Have an Emergency Plan
Assemble an emergency kit with food, water, medications, chargers, and other necessities.
Keep both digital and physical copies of important documents, including evacuation routes and insurance policies.
What Does Home Insurance Typically Cover?
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage due to:

However, it’s essential to note that standard policies usually exclude flood or earthquake damage. Those living in vulnerable zones should consider supplemental policies to stay covered.

In conclusion, while the unpredictable force of nature cannot be avoided, homeowners can adopt a proactive stance. By understanding your insurance policy and taking preventive measures, you can shield yourself from the worst financial aftershocks of natural disasters.