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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

What You Need To Look For When Purchasing A Home Where Natural Disasters Are Common

Written by Posted On Friday, 11 January 2019 08:00

Disasters come in all forms and almost the entire US has a specific type of natural disaster that is prevalent there. For those people on the east coast over to Texas, they have to worry when hurricane season comes along. These hurricanes can do little damage when it comes to the wind but the flooding can be deadly in certain situations. Other parts of the country might be more apt to tornadoes randomly touching down while others worry for the homes and lives when wildfires get out of control. Preventative measures can help reduce damage done by these natural disasters but cannot eliminate the chances of damages totally. The following are things to look for when considering purchasing a home where natural disasters are prevalent.

Research Area Specific Disasters or Other Issues

Doing the appropriate research for the area that you are considering moving to is imperative. While Florida has been in the path of plenty of hurricanes places like Tampa have not been hit directly in nearly a century. This does not mean that there has not be wind damage from outer bands of a hurricane but the eye of the storm has not passed over the Tampa Bay area. Flooding is an important thing to research as well as living in a flood zone can lead you to pay insurance premiums that will be built into your mortgage payment. For those people that want to live on the water this increases the risk of inclement weather damaging the home. This tradeoff is well worth it as many Floridians would rather deal with a weekly storm than live in less tropical locales.

Concrete Block Home

Trailers of any kind can be swept away by wind or flooding while concrete block homes give the homeowners more protection against the elements. Tornadoes can ravage these homes but hurricane force winds usually do not impact the foundation of a concrete block home. A home on stilts near the water can be damaged but being on stilts for the most part can allow the home to avoid flooding or can allow the owner to get an exemption from having to pay flood insurance. What needs to be done is to have storm shutters as you never know what could come flying through a window and injure someone.

Getting The Right Home Insurance

Failure to get the correct home insurance policy can lead you to pay for damages out of pocket. Even picking the wrong company can lead to huge delays in getting the money to cover the damages. Those people that live in areas that commonly are impacted by large storms need to consider what could happen in a worst case scenario. Flooding is a main concern for many people that live on the coast as storm surges can lead water levels to increase a few feet higher than homeowners could even imagine. Do the appropriate research to see which home insurance companies have fast payout times when a claim is filed as well as those that dedicate themselves to customer experience, you will not regret it.

Have An Evacuation Destination

For those people in the path of a natural disaster or who have been ordered to evacuate the home need to have a plan. A place that you can go whether it is to a family member or friend’s home can give you peace of mind that you have somewhere to go in case of extensive damage to your home. The damage can be minimal to your home but the damage around your home can be immense. It can take weeks for many to get power back after a huge hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. When a storm is forming make sure that you have your bags packed in case you need to evacuate quickly. Beating the crowds of people who evacuate last second is important so get to a location completely out of the path of the storm. A person in California or Florida with an impending wildfire or hurricane can make a trip to Ohio or another Midwestern state to stay as far out of harm’s way as possible.

A Safe Room Can Save Your Life

A safe room can give a family peace of mind as it can shelter them from the elements or even be used in the case of a robbery. You should know what to keep in a safe room and how long you plan to stay there in the case of a monumental disaster. You obviously will want to keep food and water along with some form of communication to the outside world. This can be a radio or if a generator is hooked up to the room a smartphone would be the most effective way to communicate with the outside world. Have a place to go if your family is in immediate danger by investing in a safe room.

The natural disasters around the country will take different preparations but the important part is being prepared in the first place. Use the above tips if you are considering purchasing a home that is in an area where disasters have occurred in the past or could occur in the future.

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