Insurance agentHomes are important. Whether cozy or colossal, for many, owning a home is the pinnacle of a dream. Not all homes, however, are created equal. Some houses are designed so much stronger than others, and thus, are more resilient.

The Resilient Design Institute defines resilience as “the capacity to bounce back after a disturbance or interruption of some sort.” Given changing weather conditions, in particular the ever escalating levels of extreme weather, there’s an urgent need today to build and renovate homes that go beyond code standards. Along with aesthetic concerns, more and more homes are being designed from the ground up with one thought in mind: to be disaster-ready.

Renovate for Resilience

Do you know if your house can withstand a hurricane? If it can, great. That’s you potentially saving thousands of dollars from repair costs alone.

If you’re not sure, find out. Then take steps to fix the situation. Asking an insurance agent to get your home covered is just half the battle. Renovations make up the other half.

Here’s a list of renovations from Old House Web you can try to make your home more resilient and disaster-ready. Give any—or all—of a shot and help ensure and protect the safety of your family from Mother Nature’s wrath:

  1. Safe rooms. If you and your family live in an area that’s prone to extreme wind events, then putting up safe rooms is vital. These are often ‘hardened’ rooms. The rooms normally don’t take up too much space, with some being no bigger than a closet or bathroom. There’s just enough space to offer refuge, a hiding place, for those who live in the home. Owners regularly stock these rooms with emergency supplies. When extreme storms hit—often in the form of hurricanes and tornadoes—safe rooms and emergency supplies will go a long way to getting you and your family through the worst until recovery response and rescue teams arrive.
  2. Fire-resistant zones. In 2012, Wildfires accounted for more than 9.2 million acres being destroyed across the country, in reports from the National Interagency Fire Center. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, or IBHS, says there are 38 states in possible danger from wildfires. The danger has only increased for communities suffering from the drought. To ensure you create fire-resistant spaces in your home, check out IBHS’s checklist here to see which parts/places will need extra-protection.
  3. Roof to wall connectors. These serve as measures against hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has cited losses since 1980 amounting to 500 percent, related to damage caused by thunderstorms. One way to make your home hurricane-ready is to replace it or reinforce it with a high-wind-rated roof, one kept in place with hurricane straps or clips. Simple and cheap, these make strapping an easy and convenient way to fortify your home. Install these straps and increase the chances of your roof or entire house sitting safe and tight through thunderstorms and hurricanes.