What disasters your home should be prepared for

No matter where you go, there will always be the potential for unpleasant weather of some sort. The U.S. is expansive and covers a wide range of weather phenomena that residents are often well aware of.

When buying a new home, it’s important to know what kinds of weather threaten your new area and how severe it can get. Knowing this information can help you; make specific home improvements to protect your family and property, decide to take out additional insurance policies and create an appropriate emergency plan for when disaster is near.

Earthquakes in California

There is a high probability that in the next half-century, a magnitude 5.0 earthquake will hit the area, 24/7 Wall Street pointed out. This is because of its proximity to the San Andreas fault, which greatly increases the risk of earthquakes in the area.

Homeowners can make their homes safer by making sure their foundations are strong, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Pier-and-post foundations should be braced, masonry walls and foundations should be reinforced and all structures should be anchored to the foundation.

Homes in California should have reinforced foundations.Ask about how the foundation is reinforced when looking at homes in California.

The typical homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover damage sustained during an earthquake, so it might be a good idea to shop around for an additional policy specifically for this purpose.

Floods in Texas

So far, Texas has declared four natural disasters in this year alone, according to the Federal Emergency Management Administration. Over the past decade, the state averaged nearly two per year. The disaster declarations range from tornadoes and wildfires to hurricanes or the aftermath of them. One common natural disaster Texas faces frequently is flooding.

Floods are not covered in the typical homeowners insurance policy, but flood insurance can be bought separately. If you are moving to a flood-prone region, this isn’t a bad idea, and may even be required by your mortgage lender.

To prepare your home for a flood, you’ll want to minimize destruction by raising your utilities so the water isn’t as likely to submerge them, FEMA advised. These include:

  • Electrical panels
  • Sockets and wiring
  • Heating systems
  • Switches and sockets

You may also look into waterproofing your basement if you have one.

Tornadoes in Alabama

Alabama has suffered extensive damage due to hurricanes over the years. In April 2011 in particular, about $1.5 billion of damage was caused because of swirling winds blowing more than 210 mph, Bankrate reported. Kiplinger pointed out that Alabama has the second-highest number of EF5 tornadoes, which are the strongest and cover the most area.

“Homeowners should have an accessible emergency kit.”

Homeowners should have an accessible emergency kit and a plan in place that all family members know, according to Ready.gov. If a tornado is nearby, everyone should gather in the lowest part of the home, preferably the basement. If there is none, go to an interior room at the center of the lowest level of the home. Stay away from windows, doors and corners, and try to put as many walls between yourself and the outdoors as possible.

Hurricanes in Louisiana

No one will soon forget the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana is in the line of danger every hurricane season. Bankrate noted that this storm created $80 billion of damage. Other hurricanes have struck since then, like Hurricane Isaac in 2012, and thankfully none have been as destructive as Katrina.

Homeowners should consider a flood insurance policy to help with the financial burden of potential damages sustained during a storm.

You can also take steps to get your home ready for high winds and heavy rains. Be sure any surrounding trees are trimmed so that dead or damaged limbs won’t dismantle and potentially break windows or damage roofs. You may also consider reinforcing your windows, doors and roofs to keep them in tact during the worst of the storm.

Blizzards in New York

A winter snowstorm can cause a wide range of issues, from power outages to unsafe road conditions. Residents should always be aware of weather patterns in the winter and take precautions to be in a safe place when a storm hits.

Be sure to have an emergency kit in your car should the snow start climbing while you’re on the road, Ready.gov explained. This should include snacks and blankets to keep everyone safe and warm if you are trapped. Shovels and sand should also be stored to help get your car out of a ditch.

For information about state-specific homebuying advice, talk to the experts at WesLend/Lenox Financial or call 844-225-3669. As heard on the radio, it’s the biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind.

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