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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

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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