November 10, 2021 | Earthquake | Flood | Hurricane | Reinsurance | Risk Mitigation

Risk Mitigation Tips for Homeowners

Efforts to Reduce the Impacts of Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Floods on Your Property

When it comes to protecting your property against potential hazards and risks, you have plenty of options for mitigation. According to FEMA, mitigation refers to the effort to reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Mitigation can keep natural hazards, like flooding and hurricanes, from having catastrophic impacts. Below, we take a look at some different tips and tricks for mitigating your risk and protecting your property, your family, and yourself against natural disasters.

Know Your Risk

Before you can mitigate risk, you need to know what you are protecting your property from in the first place. For instance, if you live in a hurricane prone area, a flood plain, near an earthquake fault, etc., educate yourself and your loved ones about risk and have an emergency plan in place for when natural disasters occur.

Wind/ Hurricane Mitigation Tips

Severe wind can occur as part of a natural hazard such as a hurricane, or on its own. Severe wind poses a threat to property and life due to the effects of flying debris.

  • Some roofs are more susceptible to high wind than others. A roofing contractor can tell you whether your roof needs added bracing to reinforce it.
  • Consider having a roofing contractor install hurricane straps to your roof. Hurricane straps will help your roof stay firmly attached during a strong wind event.
  • Consider having a contractor reinforce garage doors to prevent failure under strong winds.
  • Maintain your property regularly by removing loose debris like roof shingles, tree branches, furniture, etc. before a storm.
  • Adhere to standards about pruning trees around power lines
  • Consider other wind retrofits such as hurricane shutters or impact resistant windows.
  • Have comprehensive wind or hurricane insurance in place to cover your property in case of a storm.

Earthquake Mitigation Tips

An earthquake is sudden movement of the earth’s crust that causes violent shaking. The ground shaking can cause property damage and structural failure. Earthquakes can also trigger landslides and soil liquefaction.

  • Adopt all building codes that works to diminish earthquake damage to the property and loss of life.
  • Retrofit your home if it is at risk of earthquake damage.
  • Brace and bolt heavy furniture and appliances to the wall including water heaters, large armoires, etc
  • Use flexible piping for sewer and water services.
  • Install window film to prevent injuries and damages from shattered windows.
  • Anchor any appliances on the roof including HVAC systems and satellite dishes.
  • Ask your insurance agent for a quote for earthquake insurance to protect your home and your assets when the worst happens.

Flood Mitigation Tips

A flood is a large rise in water in an otherwise dry area. Floods can happen anywhere it rains.

  • Elevate your home’s lower floor above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
  • Raise all mechanical units and electrical systems above the BFE as well.
  • Install floor vents in foundation walls, garages, and other enclosed areas. Floor vents will allow water to drain out.
  • Use flood-resistant materials in areas below the BFE to prevent water damage.,/li>
  • Install a backflow valve in your sewer system to prevent sewer backup into your house.
  • Add waterproof veneer to exterior walls to prevent flooding from damaging the lower exterior of your home.
  • Install water detection devices throughout your home.
  • Hopefully the tips we’ve discussed above help you to mitigate the risks around your property and secure comprehensive insurance coverage to protect your loved ones and your assets when disaster strikes.

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