Climate change is causing stronger and more frequent storms, and exacerbating wildfires and floods with unprecedented damage to homes. Storm-worthy home improvements can make your home safer during catastrophes and may even net you insurance discounts. There’s not a state in the U.S. immune from natural disasters, so you need to prepare no matter where you live. Consider these home upgrades to prepare for an emergency.
Add a TV antenna to receive emergency broadcasts
In a catastrophe, an over-the-air TV antenna connects you to weather alerts and emergency evacuation plans. People on the East Coast learned how fragile the communications system is when weathering hurricane after hurricane this year. Local news broadcasts are an important part of staying informed during an emergency. Even those with cable or satellite subscriptions should add antennas to their TV to receive broadcasts.
Windproof the roof on a new build
The most common protection against gale-force winds includes strengthening your home’s ability to withstand wind. Big weather events bring winds that cause sizeable damage, so building standards are stricter in states that regularly face storm-force winds. In Oklahoma, new homes must withstand three-second wind gusts of up to 90 mph, and on the Florida coast, new construction is required to withstand three-second gusts up to 120 mph. The experts at Westchase Roofing estimate the cost of adding a high-wind option to a new build in California is less than $1 per square foot. Certain wind-resistant upgrades can qualify for special government Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.
Add high-impact shingles to an older home
Making sure your shingles and siding remain intact in a weather event can keep you from suffering costly water damage. Adding high-impact shingles will likely increase the roofing cost less than 10%, or homeowners can simply add 10-pennyweight ring shank nails to reinforce shingles and siding. Add an extra layer of water protection by applying flashing tape around the joints of the roof deck to seal out any water that may seep through missing shingles.
Keep your appliances running even without power
If your home has historically suffered from frequent power outages, you can order a marine battery and inverter for about $100. This innovative small battery backup will power your TV or charge your phone during a severe weather outage of fewer than eight hours. They are rechargeable and completely quiet, unlike a generator. If you live somewhere that has prolonged power outages, have an electrician install hookups to your home electrical system for a portable gas-powered generator. For about $1,000 this upgrade will keep all of your essential equipment and appliances running during a power outage.
Add emergency features to prepare your home
It seems like no home is safe from the damage that a weather-related catastrophe can inflict. Protect your family and possessions during emergencies with storm-worthy home improvements that might even qualify you for homeowner insurance discounts. Invest in emergency upgrades and stormproof features designed to minimize weather damage to your property and limit the cost of repairs.