In the words of the Extreme Weather Survival Guide, when it comes to weather events, abnormal is now the new normal. For natural disasters the likes of tornadoes, floods, wildfires, hurricanes and droughts, the trend seems to point to two things: greater intensity and frequency.
According to Thomas Kostigen, author of Extreme Weather Survival Guide, devastating storms used to happen few and far between, often once in a hundred years. Now, the storms happen every three years instead. He cited 2013 as an example, saying that in no other year since 1900 had we seen deviations in temperatures, for both hot and cold sides.
On the average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that Americans deal with:
- 100,000 thunderstorms and 10,000 severe ones
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,000 tornadoes
- 2 life-threatening hurricanes
Based on the numbers, extreme weather isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Despite this, few are prepared. For instance, in the US, where tens of thousands of communities are in danger of wildfire, only 10 percent have preparedness programs. However, while communities are slow to respond, many homeowners are seeing the difference that disaster-ready homes make. Long-time home buyers and first-timers will find the following useful:
- Emergency kits. One way to ensure you and your family are ready for anything is to have emergency kits on hand. These should include food, water, clothing, blankets and flashlights, among others.
- Extra reinforcements. What kind of reinforcements are the neighbors making? What measures are they putting in place? Chances are, you’ll find some of these reinforcements handy. Homes in the same area often have to protect against the same extreme weather conditions.
- Proper maintenance. Homes that are properly maintained have the best chance of standing up to extreme weather events. For instance, if you regularly clean the drainage out in the garden or backyard, then when the storm hits, you won’t have to worry about clogged drainage systems making matters worse. Flooded homes are often as much a product of extreme weather events as careless practices of home owners.
- Timely renovations and repairs. Two ways to ensure your homes are up for the challenge is to get timely renovations and repairs underway. Don’t wait until the rainy season to have the hole in your roof fixed. Delays often make the situation worse. Also, repairs must be thorough and in some cases, involve getting entire systems in your home replaced. For example, fire caused by faulty electrical wiring can’t be fixed by simply replacing a portion of the wiring with a new one. Faulty wires might often have more to do with faulty piping than anything else. Haphazard repairs can lead to bigger risks and put the house and your family in danger. In the event of disasters, the faulty electric system or pipes might come in contact with the water and end up electrocuting someone. So stop putting those repairs off for tomorrow if you can finish them today.
- The right coverage. Insurance is one way for you to cover all the bases. Consider it another layer of protection you can rely on to ensure your home is protected. Talk to an insurance agent and see which coverage works best for your property.