With Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Ophelia fresh in our minds, disaster home security is a timely topic. The now infamous looting during Hurricane Katrina should be enough to convince any homeowner to secure their property in the event of a storm or other natural disaster. You don’t have to go full scale prepper, but you should take some basic steps to keep your property safe during a disaster event.
Seal Your Basement
Floods are some of the costliest natural disasters, and the lowest point in the house will flood first. Sealing your basement walls with waterproof compounds such as silicate-based concrete sealers or acrylic waterproof paint can buy you significant time and keep your home habitable.
Do Some Landscaping
In storms and high winds, trees can fall and damage your house. During wildfires, they can become fuel for the fire. In both cases, they shouldn’t be too close to your house. Take some time to assess your property and remove any hazardous trees and shrubbery.
Batten Down the Hatches
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, hurricane shutters are a must. You may also choose to replace your windows with ballistic or impact-resistant glass, which will prove helpful during wind storms and tornadoes. For extremely high-risk areas, a saferoom might be advisable.
Leave a Light On
There’s a good chance that you’ll have to evacuate your home. If you do, you don’t want looters to know you’re gone. The power may not stay on for long, but even a day or two of your home appearing occupied will help. Additionally, you might not be among the first people to return to your neighborhood post-disaster. When the power comes back on, your house will be lit and appear occupied.
Draw the Blinds
Even if your light is on, some unsavory characters might still explore your property. Make sure that your blinds or curtains are drawn closed so that no valuable items are visible through windows.
These tips are mostly designed for home security. They may keep you physically safe as well, but at a certain point a natural disaster may force you to leave. Mandatory evacuation zones are mandatory for a reason. Your life and your family are always worth more than the value of your home.