Protect Your Home From Natural Disasters

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15th July 1937. Flooded streets in Chadwell Heath after a sudden cloudburst over Essex and East London. (I grew up in Chadwell Heath, back in the 1960’s though!)

Water Wind and Fire

As Pliny the Elder once said ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is.’ So it’s terrifying to think that anything can take that away from you. But there are natural elements out there that have no qualms about savaging the four walls you hope will always keep you safe. Today we’re going to look at some of the ways you can help protect your home from disaster. And the actions you should put in place right now. And if you want to look at how you protect your home from burglaries, take a look right here too.

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28th February 1933: A delivery boy gives a lift in his basket to a lady in distress in a flooded street in Bath.

The Wrath Of Water

Natural disasters are becoming more common all across the world. High winds, tornadoes, storms and floods all have the potential to damage our homes, sometimes in irrevocable ways. If you are in a high-risk area, put actions in place today to help protect you against the wrath of those unpredictable elements. If you live in a zone susceptible to floods, make sure you have the correct insurance in place. If you know a flood is on it’s way move all your valuables and important items to the highest points possible in your house. And be sure to keep important documents in waterproof sealable bags. Invest in sandbags to protect your home when water does hit. But do bear in mind that sandbags take time and hard work to fill and will not keep all water out. Silicone sealant is a more viable option on entry points that sandbags can’t cover.

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January 1928: A mobile PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) clinic attends to animal flood victims in London. (The Thames flooded in January 1928). A sign says ‘Animals Treated Free. Flood Victims Collected’.

If you are in a flood zone, it is worth raising electrical sockets and wiring a foot or more above the expected flood levels. And you should also consider investing in air brick protection. If your home has flooded and significant damage has been caused you will need to call in the services of a water damage company. These professionals will be able to sop up excess water immediately with high-tech thermal equipment. This can potentially save some of your damaged goods. They will also make sure your property is sanitized, cleaned properly and mold free.

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January 1928: Residents survey collapsed outhouses in their back yards.

High Winds

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, there are actions you can take to safeguard your property. Consider investing in hurricane straps to help secure your roof. And install storm shutters to prevent glass in your windows from breaking. If you know a hurricane is on its way make sure there are no loose tiles on your roof or any broken fences that could cause more damage. And ensure that all garden furniture is stored safely away. No one wants a flying trampoline landing in his or her neighbor’s garden. Also, consider investing in a vertical bracing system for your garage door to stop it from blowing out. And always have an emergency kit prepared for any natural disaster. Include food and water supplies, torches, rain mac’s, wellies and an extra mobile phone.

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31st August 1912: Families in Norwich moving household goods after floods made their homes uninhabitable.

When The Wildfire Blows

Dry climates can be susceptible to wildfires. If your home is in a wildfire zone, you need to make sure you have proper protection. Move any potted plants or shrubs that may catch on fire to another place. Once these catch fire they can quickly take hold in your house. Also remove any firewood, dry grass, decking and wooden fencing. IT may not seem worth the effort, but again if it catches, you’re in serious trouble. Also, make sure your eaves and vent openings are fully secure. If embers fly into any open holes, they can start a fire in less than 30 seconds.

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8th August 1918: An open topped bus crosses a flooded road on an outing given by Mr Weinthal for convalescent colonials from Richmond Hospital.

If you are in a wildfire zone, make sure your roof is made up of tile or steel. The roof is the most defenseless part of your house when it comes to wildfire. Also, make sure your siding is not made of wood and that your windows have outside non-combustible shutters. Remember that fire is incredibly unpredictable. And the more protection you have in place, the better chance you have of minimizing any damage.

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