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Disaster preparedness across the United States




From 1953 to 2020, there were 3,977 natural disasters classified by FEMA. These include severe storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, droughts, floods, snow and ice. All 50 states were affected by at least some of these disasters, with some states, such as Texas, bearing the brunt, while others such as Rhode Island were affected relatively little.

Natural disasters can be devastating to an area, and homeowners and small businesses in particular may be at particular risk of losing their homes, livelihoods, and property if this occurs. With climate change starting to cause a high rate of natural disasters across the country, property owners need to be better prepared to help their properties weather any potential damage. In addition, natural disasters can have a far-reaching impact through many parts of the construction industry in general. From regulations for new homes constructed in disaster-prone areas to rebuilding that must take place after a disaster, natural disasters can create ripples that ultimately have greater lasting effects after the disaster has passed.

Professionals and services designed to help homeowners and businesses prepare should make sure that they know what disasters are likely to hit their area, the most impactful steps homeowners and businesses must take, as well as the consequences they can expect for the region and the industry as a whole.

Most Affected Countries No countries are immune to natural disasters, and all of them will face them on a certain scale. However, few states experience more disasters than others, which puts homeowners in these specific areas at greater risk.

Texas recorded the highest number of disasters, with a total of 351 disasters over the recorded time span. California comes in second with 314 cases. Both states experience severe fires, floods, and storms, Texas has also experienced many hurricanes and California suffers from earthquakes. Texas also experienced more fires and floods than any other state, with California having the most earthquakes.

In addition to these states, Oklahoma, Washington, and Florida experience more natural disasters than average at 194, 160, and 152 respectively. Of these, Florida is more affected by hurricanes than any other state while Oklahoma suffers the most severe storms. Washington experiences a large number of fires, as well as severe storms and floods.

New York has the distinction of being the only state that has experienced every kind of natural disaster, as well as seeing the most snow and ice storms of any state.

Finally, Arkansas had the most tornadoes of any state, while Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia had the most droughts.

Disaster Preparedness for Landlords While there is no way to prepare for every potential problem that may occur a disaster, there are many things that can be done to help mitigate damage, and help homeowners either stay in or return to their homes sooner, while Ensuring businesses are able to stay open during times when people may need it most. Depending on the property’s age and exact location, some of these projects may be more beneficial than others in mitigating potential damage.

Severe storms The types of things that can be done to help severe storm damage can vary by location. If there are many trees in the vicinity of the property, pruning them regularly can help prevent some damage from falling limbs ($175 – $750).

In addition, most homes and businesses can benefit from having a backup generator ($2000 – $8000). When the power is off, the generator starts to work automatically. This can help keep the heating or air conditioning running, and can help prevent issues like frozen or burst pipes from a lack of heat. They can also help businesses recover faster and stay open for longer, which can help society as a whole.

Depending on the type of storm, storm windows or hurricane shutters ($2000 – $6000) can also be helpful in mitigating the damage.

Storms and severe weather caused more than $1 billion in damage to hard-hit parts of the United States in 2021 alone. Damage from a storm can affect a home’s livability, and thus real estate costs in those areas. Thus, homes that are well stocked are likely to fetch higher prices at resale time than homes that are not prepared for what is to come.

Earthquakes: The number one thing that people who live in earthquake-prone areas and own their property should do is retrofit their home with earthquakes ($4000-8000). This means helping to reinforce the foundation to support the structure. This can prevent a lot of damage and can help keep the property stable. This can help prevent collapse and loss of life as well as protect property and help businesses recover faster.

Seismic building codes were created by FEMA in order to help mitigate property damage and save lives in the event of an earthquake. These codes are not universally adopted by states, but states such as California that have been hit hard by earthquakes are enforcing them. This means that any new construction implemented in an area where these codes apply must comply with them from the outset. And while old buildings are not subject to it, any major renovation of a building or house must comply. Builders working in these areas must understand the codes and how to implement them so that they can inform and advise their clients on the best way to proceed with new construction or renovations.

Hurricanes In many cases, preparing for a hurricane is much like preparing for other storms. Standby generators and hurricane shutters are two of the biggest recommendations. Removing trees with shallow roots and removing dead or dying tree limbs can also help prevent damage during high winds.

Hurricanes are more likely to hit countries and regions along the coast. Post-hurricane rebuilding is often organized in areas to help prevent future damage, which in turn can help mitigate the significant economic slowdown in these areas after the storm. In some hard-hit states, such as North Carolina, it may not always be possible to rebuild a home in the exact location it stood before the storm. This means that some coastal communities may have their property values ​​drop dramatically after a storm or disaster, especially if the property can no longer be used as a home or construction site. Both builders and real estate agents in hurricane-hit areas should understand these regulations to better advise homeowners and help prevent catastrophic economic after-effects if areas are considered off limits for rebuilding.

Homes and businesses located in flood areas may have specific needs to deal with potential problems. For minor floods, things like sump pumps ($600-$2000), French drains ($2800-$6500), and having a sump underneath the property to collect water can help keep the structure dry.

For homes and businesses that may face more serious flooding, there may be little that can be done. Making sure that homeowners and business owners have flood insurance may be the best route, as this can help them recover from the damage more easily.

Flood areas can be categorized according to their severity. Builders who choose to work in hard-hit areas may need to follow strict regulations regarding how and where a home or building is built in order for a home to qualify for flood insurance. Many insurance agencies may also have their own strict regulations in place before you insure a home against floods. For this reason, any new or existing structure in a flood zone must be mapped carefully to know where it will land and what effect this will have on insurance.

For homes and businesses located in hurricane-prone areas, it is important to pay attention to the areas most affected by high winds. This means focusing on windproof roofs ($6,000-$15,000), entry and garage doors ($500-$2,000), and making sure the structure has a basement or other safe underground area for occupants during a storm.

FEMA also recommends building and using safe rooms in hurricane-hit areas. These safe rooms have specific regulations and rules that you must adhere to in order to be useful and effective. Builders will need to pay close attention to making sure that any safe room meets these requirements. Having a safe room in a property in these areas can also increase the resale value and make it easier to sell the property as well.

Snow and ice storms should be treated similarly to other severe weather storms. A backup generator can help keep the heat running, which helps prevent pipes from freezing. Dielectric tubes ($100-$1,000) can also help prevent this problem in homes or buildings where standby generators are not installed. Additionally, pruning nearby trees can help prevent heavy snow and ice from causing tree limbs to fall onto the property.

Snow and ice storms are grouped with other severe weather storms in terms of general damage and building recommendations. Homes and businesses with fully insulated generators often get a higher ROI in these areas and are easier to sell than those that don’t.

There are many different projects home and property owners can take to help mitigate fire damage. The first is to install flame retardant sides such as steel ($7,500 – $15,000) or fiber cement ($12,000 – $18,000). This should be combined with a flame retardant roofing material such as metal ($15,000 – $25,000). Landscaping should also be removed away from the home to help create fire breaks, and irrigation systems or ditches can be added to help dampen the flames as well.

After the amount of damage and impact on the economy that recent wildfires have done in states like California, new regulations for rebuilding that can affect builders, businesses, homeowners, real estate agents and society at large have been proposed and adopted. Homes and buildings that have been built or rebuilt to help fight wildfires may be easier to sell and generally have a higher ROI than homes that do not meet current regulations.

Disaster Preparedness and Damage Mitigation: Being prepared for the types of storms or natural disasters that may occur in a particular area can help mitigate damage and even save lives. The first step to being prepared is to know what types of disasters are most likely to strike your area, and then take steps to prepare for those at greatest risk. Many different types of disasters can have similar consequences and can be prepared for in similar ways. This can make some steps universal no matter where you live. Take steps to prepare for disasters and help homeowners and businesses protect their property to reduce costs related to damage and damage the next time a disaster strikes.




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