Southern California residents enjoy the Mediterranean-like weather the area is known for practically year round. However, even the warm coastal climate is subject to the complexities of mother nature. Common natural disasters such as water, fire, or earthquakes can leave devastating damage to your home. By preparing for the worst, homeowners can ensure a safe and efficient recovery process. Here are our top tips to prepare homeowners for California emergencies:
Water damage is a common home emergency because it can happen at any time. Damage varies anywhere from a roof leak to a burst pipe and it is difficult or impossible for homeowners to know when to expect it. However, you can expect and prepare for natural water disasters like flooding and mudslides. Here are a few ways to prepare:
- Purchase Flood Insurance: If you live in an area that gets flooded easily, purchase flood insurance. This could take care of any restoration cost that may come up after a flood and is a worthy investment.
- Have a Plan: Have an action plan for unexpected water damage. This includes contact information for a 24/7 emergency service company in the event that the damage is excessive and restoration is needed.
- Safeguard What You Can: Floors, furniture, the roof and more – whatever can be safeguarded, waterproofed, or otherwise protected from water damage should be taken care of beforehand. This includes sealing the roof to prevent leaks, routine inspections to ensure pipes are strong and replace parts of water appliances before they are damaged by age or rust.
Fire damage is shocking and devastating, whether it is minor or extensive. The best way to prepare for fire damage is to take the following preventative steps:
- Inspect Electrical Wires: Electrical fires are the most common home fires. Have a professional check electrical wires to ensure they are not faulty, old or otherwise compromised.
- Check Your Smoke Detector: Smoke detectors need to be checked every few months to make sure they’re working properly. Perform routine checks, have batteries on hand and repair them if they are broken as soon as possible. This is your first line of defense in case of a fire, so they need to be working at all times.
- Don’t Leave Standing Candles: Never ever leave a lit candle standing idle anywhere in your house if you are not present.
- Turn Off Lights and Appliances: Be sure to turn off the oven, stove, lights and other appliances that use electricity and heat. While lights are less likely to cause a fire, the stove, oven, microwave and heater can do so if not monitored.
Mold damage can be incredibly dangerous if left unchecked. It can cause serious health problems for you and your family as well as severely compromise the structural integrity of your home. Prepare for and prevent mold damage by doing the following:
- Clean Standing Water: Unattended water on any surface in your home can lead to rot and mold, so it is best to never leave a wet spot. A simple spill on wood floor/carpet, an unchecked leak in the roof, or consistent spills on the bathroom floor can lead to mold growth.
- Check the Attic/Basement: Mold thrives in cold, damp and dark environments; your basement or attic are the perfect places for it to grow. Moisture can get in if there is an insulation and sealing problem, or if there is organic matter that mold can thrive on. This includes cardboard boxes, old clothes, paper and furniture. Check on your attic or basement regularly to ensure that it’s sealed tight against moisture and that belongings are stored safely.
Earthquakes are one of the most common natural disasters known to California. Since much of the state is affected by the San Andreas Fault, earthquakes can be expected no matter where you live in the state. Earthquake damage can be incredibly devastating, especially because they are unpredictable. Prepare by doing the following:
- Make an Earthquake Kit: Prepare a kit that includes food, water, medical care and clothing. Store the kit in a safe, dry place and purchase nonperishable items. Check your kit every few years to ensure you have non-expired food and medication.
- Purchase the Proper Insurance: Talk to your insurance company about earthquake insurance. This may come in hand if the earthquake damages your property . It will save you money and gives you a chance to make your home stronger than before.
- Practice Earthquake Safety: One of the biggest lifesavers during an earthquake is knowing how to protect yourself. Have your family practice earthquake safety such as standing in doorways, hiding under tables, and protecting your head from falling objects. Have a plan in place for pets as well, as they are more likely to lose control during this disaster.
The Santa Ana Winds can do a number on your home, making this another emergency to prepare for. Strengthen your home against wind by doing the following:
- Remove Large Trees Around the Home: If possible, remove large trees growing around your home. These trees can be blown over during a windstorm and may fall onto your car, roof, fence or something else, causing serious damage. If the tree is not on your property, talk to your neighbors or the city about its removal.
- Take Your Belongings Inside and Secure Others: Outdoor furniture, tables, apparatuses and other materials can be blown away during a windstorm. If possible, take smaller items inside when the wind starts blowing and secure others using rope, tarp or another sturdy tool.
- Protect Windows and Doors: Damage and injury from windows or doors are actually fairly common during a windstorm. This can be very dangerous and can lead to permanent damage if not properly taken care of beforehand.
By following these steps you will prepare your home for any emergency or disaster in California. Jarvis Restoration is available 24/7 to restore your home from water, fire, mold, wind or earthquake damage. Our team of experts manage the entire process from initial emergency services to the final rebuild and inspections. Reach us any time at 949-362-5388. Jarvis will be anywhere in Orange County in ONE hour.