Natural Disasters – Tips for Homeowners

As of the writing of this post – an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes have been destroyed in the Houston area as a result of Hurricane Harvey, the deadly tropical storm that just won’t let up and continues to pummel the Gulf Coast with torrential rains, flooding and wind gusts that have been measured as high as 132 MPH.

The paramount issue of course is safety. But after the rains have stopped and the flood waters have receded, a grave new concern confronts homeowners:  the very real prospect of financial disaster.

Here in California, homeowners are no stranger to natural disasters of nearly every stripe:  earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, yes – even flooding –  are something residents brace for every year.  Even so, natural disasters are on the rise everywhere, and in areas where you may not expect an earthquake to rattle your home, or a tornado to touch down.

So what can you do to prepare for the unexpected?

The number one thing you can proactively do to prepare for a wide variety of possible natural disasters is to assess your home’s risk – whether it’s a hurricane or an earthquake or other threat, have a professional inspect your home, including the foundation and landscaping, to better evaluate what repairs or enhancements may be needed to keep your home safeguarded.

This article contains a wealth of information on how to prepare your home (and your loved ones) before, during and after disaster strikes.

For those, like our neighbors on the Gulf Coast, here are some tips from MarketWatch on what homeowners and renters should do after a devastating event like Harvey to protect themselves financially:

  1. Contact insurance companies and mortgage servicers
  2. Document anything that’s damaged and secure the property
  3. Gather any materials you may need if you have to rent a home temporarily
  4. Keep all receipts for purchases made after the storm, earthquake, etc.
  5. And in the event of a flood, storm or hurricane like Harvey: know how to spot mold
Image courtesy of USA Today

Here at The Sunset Team, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas, the Gulf Coast and everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.

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