We often rely on our homes to protect us from the perils of the outside world, but what protects our homes? Whether the threat is a natural disaster or burglars, insects, or bacteria, there are a variety of potential dangers facing our homes each day. Take charge of keeping your home (and your family) safe with the help of the excellent Web sites we've included in this guide.
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Natural disasters may be unpredictable but homeowners generally know if the area in which they live is prone to certain types of events. We've selected some Web sites that can help you protect your home against some common natural disasters, severe weather, and other problems.
- In addition to the tips provided by disaster-readiness sites, also check the Web site of your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider for more advice about keeping your home safe.
- Web sites for major relief agencies generally offer advance preparation tips you can use to get your home ready for a natural disaster. For example, the Web site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teaches you about different types of disasters and hazards, explaining how to prepare for them and what to do during and after a disaster.
- It's also possible to make some preparations in the event of a terrorist attack. LIFELines, a site of the U.S. Navy, explains that many of the preparations you would make in this regard are very similar to how you would prepare for a natural disaster.
- It goes without saying, but protecting your family should come before protecting your home. If a disaster looks as though it will be too severe, the safest option may be evacuating to safer area. Check the Web sites of your local news outlets and your local government for evacuation warnings and instructions.
For sites that review many types of damage prevention …
, a Web site of the Institute for Business & Home Safety, explains how to prepare for floods, freezing weather, winds, earthquakes, and other naturally occurring disasters. You'll learn preventive measures you can take to protect your home as much as possible from these events. Hover your mouse on the “Get Prepared” link for a list of events.
Catastrophe Readiness Clearinghouse
offers publications and Web links that can help you prepare for an array of disasters, including biological and chemical threats and natural disasters. If you want to prepare a safe room in your home and assemble a basic emergency supply kit, this site can serve as a good resource.
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
(FLASH) reviews preparation tips for a variety of natural disasters but is unique in that it also addresses preparations for rip currents, hail, and extreme temperatures. FLASH also includes videos with construction recommendations that can help a home withstand severe weather or other disasters; use the links on the right to find these.
The Weather Channel
’s Web site includes a feature called WeatherREADY that teaches weather safety and home protection practices. The articles in the "Severe Weather Safety
section help you understand what to expect in certain weather and explain what a watch, warning, or advisory entails for each specific condition. After you've learned what to expect, find out how to protect your home in the "Severe Weather Readiness
offers an article titled “Would your home survive a natural disaster?” Learn why building code requirements may not be enough to help your home withstand such an event. Scroll down to the "Flirting with disaster" section of this article to find the most common natural disasters that occur in your state.
To prepare for emergency evacuation …
lists some emergency preparedness supplies you should have on hand, such as water, food, lights, radios, and sanitation supplies that can help you stay safe in the event of a problem.
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