Prepping isn’t just about stockpiling food. Smart prepper families do not underestimate the value of home improvements. Not only will home improvements increase the value of your home (should you decide to sell), they also save on costly repairs and increase your chances of safety during and after a disaster.
If your house has a wood-burning fireplace, make sure to keep your chimney lined and clean. Without maintenance, chimneys can leak poisonous gasses or even catch fire. And you can bet you’ll need a fully functioning fireplace during a power outage or after a disaster.
For many rural households, there is no way to ensure that a tree will not fall on a house or vehicle. However, you can and should take the time to remove particularly dangerous trees and dead trees from the area surrounding your house. Remember, it’s better to act early to prevent disaster than depend on an insurance policy that might not even end up covering what you need.
Threats from Above and Below
It’s important to have working gutters during heavy rains and storms. When gutters become clogged, water can pool and damage roofs and ceilings. Install gutter guards to keep leaves and other debris out of these invaluable structures.
If you’re looking to repair your roof, we recommend slate roofing. This type of roofing offers far better protection from wildfires than other types of roofing. Slate roofing is also impervious to insects and rot and lasts a long time.
Speaking of water damage, it’s important to make sure your basement does not become damp. In addition to ruining stored goods, dampness can foster deadly mold. If you notice wetness in your basement, determine the source and use sealant, a sump pump, or a dehumidifier to fix the problem.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, over 60% of homes in America suffer water damage from floods or below-ground wetness. The damage can be devastating if this wetness destroys stored food and other supplies. If you are worried about water from below, we suggest installing a sump pump in your basement.
Becoming independent in regards to energy is always useful – but will be especially useful during and after a disaster. Utilize solar panels to collect free energy from Mother Nature. It’s also a good idea to keep a generator hidden away. We recommend an electrical standby generator, which, although more expensive than a portable generator, will function automatically when the power goes out. It is also much quieter when operating.
Mother Nature isn’t always your friend. If you live in a part of the country that experiences tornadoes, make sure you have a “tornado safe room” in (or under) the house. Consider the number of people who will need to take refuge in this room and stock it with water and emergency supplies. Window shutters are advised for anyone living in an area were tornadoes and hurricanes are likely to occur.
Protect your Supplies
Since prepper families store so many supplies – often including precious metals like gold and silver – in their homes, the threat of burglary is especially frightening. Install burglar alarms to protect your family, money, and supplies.
While the improvements listed above might not save your life, they will certainly increase your family’s safety and the value of your home. Home improvement stores, like Home Depot, offer a vast array of products that can help families utilize the disaster-proofing strategies listed above.