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3 Tips to Protect Your Home From Natural Disasters

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3 Tips to Protect Your Home From Natural Disasters

Floods, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hail and tropical storms are all classified as natural disasters.[1] Depending on the season, a natural disaster could strike at anytime, and your home could suffer serious damage because of it. This is why it is so important that you reinforce your home to prevent unnecessary damage and keep repair costs to a minimum.

1. Make Sure You Have Homeowner’s Insurance

Note that homeowner’s insurance is different from mortgage insurance. It’s not always easy to come up with the money for repairs with only a moment’s notice, and they could be costly. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t always offer full coverage for damage to a home due to a natural disaster. Your homeowner’s insurance may include partial insurance for your home for specific natural disasters. While being prepared and having money put away for emergency repairs are responsible things to do, the best alternative may be to get separate insurance in your state for the natural disasters most likely to hit if your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover it.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

These are likely to hit on the east coast. Be prepared by having hurricane shutters installed, an extra strong garage door and reinforcing the frame of your home with hurricane straps. A contractor will know what hurricane straps are and how to install them.

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Hail

Hail could damage the roof, glass windows and doors and siding of your home. In addition to installing hurricane shutters on your windows and possibly your doors, you should make sure you have roof hail damage insurance.

Tornadoes

Protect your home from a tornado by bracing the gables of the roof and reinforcing the sheathing underneath the shingles or outer roofing.

2. Have a Safe Room

Build a standard safe room for tornadoes. This room may offer some protection when other disasters strike too, like hurricanes. A basic room of this type that accommodates 16 people costs around $3,000 to build. Your safe room could double as a utility closet or storage room at other times.

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Wildfires

Wildfires can be caused by lightening, human negligence or lava from volcanoes. Minimize the possibility of your home being damaged by a wildfire by creating a distance of 30 feet between your home and all dead foliage that could catch fire as well as any trees. This may be drastic, but it’s also recommended to install mesh screening under porches and decks, over vents, openings in your roof and over the entire outside of your home. This makes it almost impossible for flaming debris and flying sparks to light your home on fire.

Earthquakes

Secure heavy objects, like cabinets, shelves, TVs and bookcases to walls or the floor using brackets, safety straps and cables.

Floods

Elevate appliances in your home, especially the furnace, water heater and electric panels. It’s probably not a good idea to have them in your basement, since that’s where flood water will usually collect first.

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Use a waterproofing compound on your basement’s walls so water can’t get in. Also, put two-port check-valves in your drains so that floodwater can’t back up.

3. Find Out What Was Damaged and Have Repairs Done Quickly

Immediately after a disaster, note the date, and check your roof and home for damage both inside and out. On your roof, look for torn, broken or missing shingles. Take pictures, have the appropriate repair workers come and give you estimates of repair costs, and then contact your insurance company or have repairs done. Whether you’re dealing with your homeowner’s insurance or specific natural disaster insurance, if your insurance company is giving you trouble about covering costs, which are stipulated in the contract, then call a public adjuster to get help with your insurance provider.

To prevent the possibility of a natural disaster costing you extra money, do what you can to keep damage to a minimum. For example, use mulch or something similar instead of loose stones for paths and driveways, remove any weak branches from nearby trees, and make sure there is the least possibility of water getting into your home through spaces or gaps in windows and doors.

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Featured photo credit: WikiMedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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