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3 Tips to Protect Your Home From Natural Disasters

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

Reference

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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