There are many ways to improve the ability of your home or business to withstand natural disasters, including a number of effective and inexpensive projects that won’t bust your budget.
Tampa, FL (Vocus) September 8, 2010
Because September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is offering simple, inexpensive ways home and business owners can prepare their property to better withstand many different kinds of natural disasters.
The IBHS website offers a ZIP code –based tool that will generate a list of natural and man-made risks common to various geographic areas. Each type of risk is linked to a list of practical, specific measures that can be used to help minimize the impact of natural disasters such as windstorms, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, severe winter weather and hailstorms.
“Every region of the United States faces at least one type of natural disaster, and most regions face multiple hazards,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president & CEO.“There are many ways to improve the ability of your home or business to withstand natural disasters, including a number of effective and inexpensive projects that won’t bust your budget.”
Specifically, IBHS recommends the following:
Flooding – Water Intrusion in Basements
- Use a high-quality urethane-based caulk to seal cracks in the exterior walls of your building. ($)
- Apply internal sealant to the interior of basement walls. ($$)
- Remove soil from around the foundation and install a waterproof membrane ($$$)
- Install a French Drain around your home. ($$$$)
- Limit yard objects or remove them to prevent them from becoming projectiles. ($)
- Install garage door bracing system. ($$)
- Brace roof gable ends. ($$$)
- Take additional measures when re-roofing to meet high wind guidelines. ($$$)
- Install window/door shutters. ($$$$)
- Relocate combustible items at least 30 feet from the home or business. ($)
- Choose non-combustible mulch, such as rock and gravel. ($$)
- Install a spark arrestor in chimneys that is made from welded wire or woven wire mesh with 1/2-inch openings. ($$$)
- Install dual-pane glass with tempered outer lite in windows, doors and skylights. ($$$$)
- Securely anchor bookcases to walls. ($)
- Anchor water heaters and install flexible connectors ($$)
- Brace your chimney. ($$$)
- Brace cripple walls. ($$$)
- Brace walls that have large openings such as those with garage doors. ($$$$)
Severe Winter Weather
- Remove snow from window wells and against all walls. ($)
- Buy a snow rake so that you can safely remove snow from a roof if the snow gets too deep. ($)
- Wrap exposed pipes and hose bibs with insulation. ($$)
- Trim tree branches that extend over the roof and remove dead or diseased trees. ($$$)
- When re-roofing, make sure ice shield material is installed on the roof deck and extends 2 feet towards the interior of the house beyond the edge of the heated areas of the house. ($$$)
- Clean out garage to make sure that you can keep your car in the garage ($ - $$)
- Install storm windows to protect windows and sills. ($$$)
- Install a high impact rated roof cover. ($$$ to $$$$ depending on choices)
($) – little to no cost involved; ($$) – low cost; ($$$) – moderate cost ($$$$) – high cost
For a complete list of ways to harden your home or business against natural disasters, visit DisasterSafety.org and click on the “Get Prepared” tab.
About the IBHS
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research organization supported by property insurers and reinsurers. The Institute works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices. Visit http://www.DisasterSafety.org for more information about IBHS resources.
Media Relations Manager, IBHS
(813) 675-1045 (o); (813) 442-2845 (c)