How To Protect Your New Home From Natural Disasters

There are many things to think about when you buy a new home. You think about the school district, what amenities are nearby, how quiet the neighborhood is and in some instances if it's a walkable area.

If you are moving to a new region in a different part of the country, however, you may also have the added concern of if your home will be prepared for a natural disaster. How can you protect your new home from a potential severe weather event or earthquake? Here are some tips.

Earthquake Protection

If you have moved to California or Alaska for example from a different state, you will soon become aware that they are prone to earthquake activity. While most of these are minor and you will hardly feel anything at all, there might come a time when one is more severe.

You can help to protect your home by removing any leaning or dead trees surrounding the property. You should make sure the home has reinforced walls or have steel frames with a foundation that has sill plates anchored to the ground. If you can, find a home with rounded corner windows to help prevent cracking and chipping.

Also, once you have moved in, anchor your furniture and electronics to prevent them from falling over in an earthquake.

Flood Protection

Fooding can occur anywhere in the United States and is the most common natural disaster. Before you buy your new home, make sure it isn't in a floodplain or zone as these areas routinely receive flooding. Buy a home on a higher elevated lot if your city of choice is below sea level or is surrounded by lakes or rivers.

You can plant trees or other bushes to prevent soil erosion. If you live a flood-prone area or at sea level, you could buy a home that is on stilts or has a built up foundation. Also, make sure your land is graded, so it slants away from the house which protects your home from some water damage.

Severe Weather Protection

While most states receive bad weather, other areas are prone to tornadoes or hurricanes. Should you have purchased a home in either of these regions, there are some ways to help protect the house from damage.

If you live in a hurricane-prone region, you should invest in hurricane shutters for your windows, have reinforced roofing and walls and install high-impact glass windows. To protect against less powerful tornadoes, make sure the home can withstand higher winds, have extra bracing for all doors and the roof and install impact-resistant windows if it doesn't already have them. You should install a safe room inside your home on the basement level – should your home have one in the event of a tornado as well.

Always monitor for severe weather if you live in hurricane or tornado prone areas and evacuate when told to. For more information, contact your local real estate agent.