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Five Ways to Prepare Your Home for Climate Change

By Renovate Your World
4/17/2014 9:45:57 AM

Droughts, floods, storms, higher highs and lower lows. If the past few years have taught us anything, it's that we're headed for some pretty serious weather changes. Is your home designed for a changing climate?

Follow these tips to ensure that you're prepared for any extreme.

Insurance Knowledge

Is your home insured for the climate of the future? Sadly, many homeowners learn the answer to this question the hard way.

Get the latest home insurance information by looking into these insurance-related topics:

Credit: Renovate Your World

What's Covered? Knowing where your insurance is coming up short starts with knowing where it doesn't. Are you covered for direct losses due to fire? How about windstorms and hail? This Guide to Homeowner's Insurance is a great place to start.

Are You Maintaining a Safe and Insurable Home? The best way to never have to deal with insurance is to never have to use it. As devastating as some of the effects of climate change may be, they are made worse by an unsafe and unmaintained home. Your first step in mitigating disaster is to do a routine safety check of the house. Here's how.

Do I qualify for Flood Insurance? The widespread flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy has many homeowners looking into flood insurance. It can be as big a quagmire as the floods themselves. Where do I go for flood insurance? What is covered? What is the deductible? We've answered some of these questions in our Flood Insurance Guide.

For more information on your home's insurance, check out these additional resources:

National Association of Insurance Commissioner's Guide to Homeowner's Insurance

How to Find the Right Insurance for your Home

Storm Readiness

If there's one thing Hurricane Sandy taught us, it's that we can expect bigger, badder storms with climate change. And not just hurricanes, either. Winter storms pose just as big a threat, and the older models that could predict where, when and how often are proving to be outdated.

Is your home storm-ready? Here are a few ways you can make sure it is:

Assemble Your Disaster Kit. A disaster kit contains some essentials for getting through the first few days following a storm or disaster. A kit should include water (a gallon per person per day for three days), food (three-day supply, non-perishable), a radio (battery-powered or hand crank), flashlight and batteries, first aid kit and a whistle for calling for help. Want a more complete list? Go to Ready.gov.

Build a Safe Room. It may sound extreme, but a safe room will provide the highest measure of protection for you and your family in the event of extreme winds and in instances where debris impact is likely. Safe rooms can be built on site but also come manufactured and ready to install in new or existing homes. For a closer look at installing a safe room in your home, read this guide.

Stay Safe After the Storm. Surviving the storm is one thing. Surviving the aftermath is another. When the winds have passed and the waters recede, many have a tendency to rush outside or fall immediately into routine. This can often result in a fatal outcome. Downed power lines, gas leaks and falling limbs or trees pose just as great a threat as the storm itself. Follow this guide to Post-Storm Safety Steps.

For more information on Storm Readiness, check out these resources:

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes

FEMA's "Ready.gov" website

For more ways to prepare your home for disasters, continue reading on Renovate Your World.

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