One of the most effective means of protection against disaster is to take steps to reduce the impact of disaster. This is called mitigation. Examples of mitigation are constructing buildings away from flood plains and fault zones, upgrading homes to prevent damage from earthquakes, and reducing hazards within the home. 

Here are some steps you can take to minimize damage to your property:

  • If flooding is a potential danger, consider options for flood-proofing your home. Determine whether your home can be elevated to avoid flood damage. If you home is in a high risk area, you may be able to sell your property to a government agency and move to another location.
  • Make sure your home complies with local building codes that pertain to seismic, flood, fire, and wind hazards. Consider options for upgrading your home to sustain earthquakes and high winds and purchasing storm shutters for all exterior windows and doors.  Consult a private home inspector for technical advice.
  • Install fire alarms throughout the house and consider installing fire extinguishers and a fire sprinkler system.  Store flammable products away from heat sources and place oily polishing rags or waste in covered metal cans.  Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, gas vents, and defective electrical wiring.
  • Secure overhead light fixtures and other items that could fall or shake loose in an earthquake or high winds.  Repair cracks in ceilings or foundations. Move heavy of breakable objects to low shelves and hang pictures and mirrors away from beds.  Anchor water heaters and bolt them to wall studs.