Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Prepare Your Home for Worst-Case Scenarios in a Disaster

Worst-case scenarios aren’t something that many people think of when going about their normal lives. Yet, as recent events have shown, they can happen at any time. A natural disaster can damage your health, property and finances and even disrupt the safety and security of your home. Take the following three preventative measures today to prepare your home.

Maintain the Roof

People often only worry about roof maintenance right before a rainy season. Instead, it’s important to maintain your roof throughout the year. Roof problems can result in leaks that cause damage to interior structural materials and property and costly emergency repairs. You might even have to find expensive alternative lodging if the damage makes your home unlivable. During a worst-case scenario, such as high winds, portions of a poorly maintained roof can tear free from a home entirely. A professional inspection twice a year and repairs as needed decrease the chance of a future problem.

Strengthen the Foundation

If you see foundation bricks or blocks that seem out of normal position with cracks running through them or nearby mortar, or cracks in any interior or exterior walls, then your home’s foundation has sinking areas that can worsen with time. Sinking can even result in structural instability during an earthquake. The typical causes of sinking are poor foundation installation and home settling. To prepare against more extreme future damage during rapid earth movement events, hire a professional who uses underpinning processes to raise the floors, close cracks, secure the foundation, and stabilize the entire structure.

Install a Basement

During a disaster a basement can serve as a refuge. A basement can provide sturdy, protective walls when you’re trying to stay safe from high winds. It can offer shelter to extended family who have lost their own home. It can serve as a quarantine area for someone who is sick. It isn’t difficult to install a basement beneath an existing home. An expert skilled in new basement installation can typically add the room to a home without disrupting too much of your schedule and life.

Of course, there are a lot of other things you can do to prepare for disasters. It’s important to maintain your home between professional appointments by performing your own visual inspections of the structure on a monthly basis to catch new problems early. Additionally, set up medical and survival supply kits and create an emergency budget and evacuation plan. Disasters often only become worst-case scenarios when homeowners aren’t prepared for potential outcomes.

Tim Esterdahl

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