With much of Southern California that was recently affected by the wildfires and the mudslides that have scorched acres of lands, damaged properties, and homes, a lot of homeowners and families are left devastated by the destruction. While natural disasters cannot be avoided, there are things you can do to make sure to protect yourself and your family from great harm. Here are some tips that are good to remember.
Find your weak spot
Having a professional assess your home and inspect it will prepare you for knowing your home's weak spots. Can your house withstand heavy rainfall, flooding, hurricanes or earthquakes? A professional inspection will be able to tell you what repairs or changes are needed to ensure that your home is well fortified. Keeping your foundations checked for signs of weakness or damage is also important in maintaining their integrity.
Know the utility points in your home.
Do you know where the gas mains and fuse boxes are? Gas leaks and electrical fires are a common hazard during natural disasters, and these can be avoided by shutting off power and the gas pipe. Here's a guide by SoCal on how you can locate and shut off your gas meter in an emergency.
Secure large furniture
In the event of an earthquake or tornado, the shaking of walls or heaving of the ground can cause large furniture such as television sets, refrigerators, and closets to topple and cause harm or additional damage. Consider investing in earthquake-proof furniture, or bolt them down if necessary.
Prepare your home
Preparing your home before disaster strikes are the key to ensuring your safety and that of your family. If you live in an area at a high risk for wildfire, for example, treating your walls or sidings with fire-retardant chemicals or changing your panes to tempered glass could spell the difference between the risk for a burning house and safety. Protect your pipes and use flexible fittings to avoid gas and water leaks during earthquakes or landslides.
No preparation can be as effective as keeping yourselves mentally ready when disaster strikes. Have an emergency plan for family communication in case people are separated. Identify or create a safe room in the house where the family can converge during natural disasters, and keep it stocked and supplied with an emergency supply kit as well as a portable radio. This resource from CalFire recommends websites for Emergency Preparedness that you can review as well.