Three: Mitigate

Not all disasters can be prevented. There is nothing you, I, or anyone can do to stop the massive 9.0 mega earthquake that WILL hit our region. Storms, wind, hail, snow, ice, nothing we can do about that. Floods, well, it rains in the Pacific Northwest, and while dam and reservoir managers pay careful attention to flow rates to avoid flooding, heavy rains can bring floods.

Earthquake, Flood, Storms, or Fires, there’s lots we can do to prepare for them.

It’s a little different if you Own or Rent your home.

Click Here if You’re a Renter

Homeowner

Other than having an emergency kit at home, as well as go bags for each person and pet, there are ways to make your home safer when an emergency hits.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety has a bunch of hazard-specific info on ways to make your home safer.

Earthquake

The first thing to do is disaster proof your home. Click here for a full rundown of tips and tricks to make your home more resilient.

From how you set up your interior decor, to securing water heaters, large furniture, and other objects, to having a contractor shore up walls, bolt the structure top the foundation, and other earthquake proofing, you can do a lot to minimize the damage to yourself, your belongings, or your home.

Much of the damage in earthquakes is predictable and preventable.

For an earthquake, according to OSHA, ground movement  is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects as a result of the ground shaking, or people trying to move more than a few feet during the shaking.

Storms

If you live in a coastal community, you know about the winter storms. Gale Force winds pound the coast from Mendocino to Tofino, and all points between. The storms bring storm watching tourists, but also bring heavy rain, at times flash flooding, and can bring property damage to your home.

Inland we get the major windstorm (Portland’s Labor Day storm, anyone?), downing trees and power lines, and throwing unsecured items around.

Roof

Starting top-to-bottom, the first place to protect your home from storms is your roof. Have your roof examined for any loose shingles that might blow off in a storm or expose your roof to water intrusion. A roofing professional can examine the underlayment and explore attaching roof sheathing to the trusses.

Check your gutters, and keep them clean. One of the least expensive ways to prevent water damage from a storm, clean gutter systems are designed to carry water to where it will create the least damage.

Clogged gutters can cause soil erosion, water intrusion and flooding in your home, even foundation damage.

Windows

Windows are rated by design pressure measured in pounds per square foot, and usually homes built in high wind exposure areas have higher rated windows. Most window replacement companies offer no-cost estimates of window replacement, and while replacing your windows may or may not be in your budget at the moment, getting an estimate and assessment (especially if at no cost or obligation to you) will let you know where you might have some exposure to storms.

An option if window replacement is totally not in the budget is to install a protective system like shutters.

Bob Vila has a number of ways to make your home storm resistant.

Floods

 

Bankrate.com has six ways to protect your home from flooding.

Fires

Renter

Other than having an emergency kit at home, as well as go bags for each person and pet, there are ways to make your home safer when an emergency hits.

Earthquake

The first thing to do is disaster proof your home. Click here for a full rundown of tips and tricks to make your home more resilient.

Even if you rent, there’s a lot you can do as a tenant to lessen the impact of an earthquake on you and your family.

Check the water heater, and if it is not secured, ask your landlord to secure it.

Where you place your furniture, and how you set up your interior decor can help reduce damage or injury. Many landlords do not allow screws in the studs, if this is the case see if you can get an exception to allow you to secure large, tall furniture.

Much of the damage in earthquakes is predictable and preventable.

For an earthquake, according to OSHA, ground movement  is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects as a result of the ground shaking, or people trying to move more than a few feet during the shaking.

Storms

Floods

Fires