There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a home. The size of your house, the amount of property it’s sitting on, and the crime level in the city are all important to consider before making the purchase. Perhaps nothing is more vital than thinking about how natural disasters can destroy your home, though.
Preparing for tornadoes in the Midwest, seeing whether hurricane season is going to affect your neighborhood, and looking at forest fire damages nearby are all part of the home buying process depending on what region of the country you are in. Talk to your realtor about whether your home is in the line of fire before going through with buying it.
We’ll also talk about whether homeowners insurance can protect you from certain types of natural disasters. You can’t get all of your valuables back after nature has destroyed your home, but you might be able to rebuild your home so that it’s livable again.
#1 – Hurricanes
Hurricanes are one of the most publicized natural disasters that happen in the U.S. Events like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy became national news stories. People from all over the globe donated money to help rebuild the communities that were destroyed by these events.
New Orleans, the main city associated with Hurricane Katrina, took years to rebuild after the storm hit the city. This brings up the issue of the U.S. and local governments needing to better prepare for hurricanes in areas where they are prevalent. Infrastructure and building techniques need to be adapted to prevent so much damage.
Your home has more of a chance of surviving or getting damaged during a hurricane if it is built on a higher elevation. Don’t live next to the water if you are in a city with higher numbers of hurricanes during the tropical storm season. The Gulf Coast and other states that are easternmost in the U.S. are at the highest risk of flooding and other damage after a hurricane.
Homeowners insurance can certainly cover the damages to your home during a hurricane, but your rates are going to be very high if you live in an area with a lot of hurricanes.
#2 – Volcanic Eruptions
Volcanic eruptions don’t get talked about as much in the U.S. as some of the other disasters on this list. Despite this lack of discussion, it’s important to educate yourself on the mountains in your area that are getting closer to eruption.
One of the most volatile mountains in the U.S. right now is Mount Ranier in Washington State. This volcano is listed on many reports regarding the mountains that are most likely to erupt in the near future. This is also notable because the lahars that would be initiated from an eruption could destroy many neighboring towns to Seattle.
Insurance companies cover volcanic eruptions and the damage they cause, but there is no easy way to return to the site of a volcanic eruption. If you get a warning from the government that a volcano is about to erupt, it’s important to evacuate as soon as possible.
Bring your valuables with you and talk to your insurance company about coverage that would allow you to move into a temporary residence.
#3 – Forest Fires
Wildfires are on a massive uptick right now in places like California. You should always prepare your home for a fire with basics like alarms, extinguishers, and safety equipment. If you live close to a forest, now is a good time to talk to your insurance company about how your policy would cover the damage from a forest fire.
Forest fires are one of the only natural disasters that you can try to make your home less susceptible to damage. Clear out any debris and other flammable materials like leaves, large trees, etc. Make sure you cut your grass and keep other flammable objects away from the windows of your house. If this unfortunate event happens, be aware of the steps that you need to follow after a wildfire.
Humans can do things as a population to try and prevent forest fires. Many experts think climate change is a culprit for the fires. Do eco-friendly things to help contribute to a greener society.
#4 – Tornadoes
Tornadoes can rip your home apart with unbelievable winds. It’s important to know whether the state you are living in has a lot of tornadoes before buying a home there. Texas, Kansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Alabama are the top 10 states for annual tornadoes in the U.S.
As long as your home is protected from a tornado, there isn’t anything that can be done to prepare your house for these types of winds. Tornadoes can do everything from stripping the siding to completely demolishing the home. If this happens, you should be able to file a claim with your homeowners insurance to repair or rebuild the home.
Unfortunately, you can’t get back valuable personal items that are taken during a tornado. Pictures of family members, gifts given to you by friends, and other sentimental items are obviously not going to be protected by an insurance plan.
You need to see whether the weather services in your area suggest evacuating your home before a tornado. If you evacuate, it’s vital to bring these sentimental items with you. You should also have an emergency kit so you can have food, water, and clothing for your family while they are away from home.
You can see that there is only so much you can do to prepare and protect yourself and your home from a natural disaster. Much of the preparation for a disaster comes well before it even happens, such as deciding not to live in an area with a lot of natural weather events.
If you do live in an area with hurricanes, tornadoes, and volcanic eruptions, you should make sure your homeowners insurance will cover these things. If you are in an area with a higher likelihood of these events happening, you might have to pay higher premiums for your homeowners insurance.
Do your research and find out how weather disasters affect your state. Moving to somewhere safer might be the best thing to do to avoid the devastation that can occur in certain areas.