3 Things You Should Know Before Disaster Strikes

27 Sep

Protect Your Home: Plan For The Best, Expect The Worst

 1. Know What Could Happen

Chances are, most New York homeowners don’t spend too much time worrying about earthquake damage. And homeowners in Seattle are most likely not too concerned about the wreckage a tornado could cause.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has an interactive map on its site that shows you the most prevalent disasters for any state in the country.

The New York Times printed a map of the most and least likely areas across the U.S.A. to suffer from a natural disaster — Dallas, TX scored as the city with the highest risk, experiencing just about every type of disaster from twisters to droughts over the years. Corvallis, OR is the spot with the lowest risk of being hit by Mother Nature.

(for full-size map, go to The New York Times)

2. Know That Anything Could Happen

Preparing for disasters that are common (or at least, not uncommon) in your region is half the story. Most disasters are disasters that come out of nowhere and strike unexpectedly — like a house fire or a blackout. You can prepare yourself and your home to respond most effectively to the disasters you never see coming.

  1. Keep, check and maintain fire extinguishersin your home. Store them someplace accessible — if they’re on the shelf in the garage, they won’t help you take quick action against a grease fire in your kitchen. Make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them.

    (image from County Fire Protection)

  2. Keep and maintain a first aid kit in an easily accessible spot. Consider keeping a copy of The American Red Cross First Aid & Safety Handbook (around $13 at Amazon) in or near the kit. And, of course, there’s an app for that — there is now an official American Red Cross First Aid app available for iPhone and Android devices (here).

 3. Know Your Options

There are plenty of sources out there to help you protect your home, minimize damage and recover from disaster. From general tips and advice to disaster and geography specific information, the Internet can be your best resource to prepare for disaster. These are just a few:

Popular Mechanicsoffers tips on preparing for and surviving floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and more.

BankRate offers tips and resources for planning for eight different potential threats, from a tornado to a terror attack.

Zillow offers disaster planning tips as well as more information on how you can landscape for fire safety, properly insuring your real estate and the ins and outs of homeowner’s insurance.

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