Many parts of the country are prone to disasters during the different seasons each year. These disasters include floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and forest fires. Residents of disaster prone areas must be prepared for an emergency at all times. This preparedness applies to the personal items stored in the home. Homeowners can use five tips to help store personal possessions safely in areas prone to disasters.
1. Use a Rugged Container
An effective way to store personal items is to use a rugged container that is resistant to the elements. One example is a Zarges case. This rugged container meets military specifications. Some are waterproof and fire resistant. The hard outer shell will prevent damage from falling items or collapsed walls. Items should be secured in the container with foam inserts or packing materials so objects cannot move and cause damage if the case is jostled violently by an earthquake or hurricane.
2. Waterproof Documents
Water damage is a risk in nearly every type of disaster. It can be caused by rain, flooding or even broken water pipes. Important documents like birth certificates and insurance policies should be sealed in waterproof bags placed in waterproof containers. This will allow the documents to survive even if they are fully submerged for a time.
3. Store Items in Appropriate Areas
Personal possessions should be stored in appropriate locations in the home that are safest from the most common disasters. Storing items on upper levels provides protection from floods. Storing items in a central room with no windows will protect against tornadoes and hurricanes. Valuable personal possessions should be stored in several different locations as well. This prevents damage to just one room or closet in the home from affecting everything.
4. Rent a Secure Storage Unit
Homeowners in volatile areas with the potential for many disasters should consider renting a protected storage unit for large or very valuable items. These units are normally located in reinforced buildings that have protections against floods and fires. Some even use enhanced construction techniques to prevent collapses from earthquakes or tornadoes. This will guarantee the safety of the items although regular access to personal possessions might be inconvenient.
5. Keep Important Items near Emergency Packs
Everyone living in an area prone to disasters should maintain an emergency pack in case it is necessary to evacuate the home or shelter in place. It is helpful to store small heirlooms, irreplaceable items or other valuables near the emergency pack. This makes it possible to grab these small objects and put them into the pack just before having to evacuate or move to another part of the house.
Taking the time to store items properly in the home will reduce the potential damage from many types of disasters. Homeowners will want to keep digital records of all valuable personal possessions. This will help to minimize loss if a major disaster actually destroys an item. Digital records stored online will also help with insurance claims later.