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How To Defend Your House From Disaster

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Homeowners everywhere must be ready for natural disaster of one sort or another: No part of the United States is completely free from the threat of seasonal or flash floods, or of thunderstorms and the lightning that accompanies them. Floods drive about 75,000 Americans from their homes each year, destroying or damaging over $250 million worth of property. Lightning kills about 150 Americans each year and injures 250; annual property loss is estimated at more than $100 million.

To protect life and property from such climatic calamities, the United States have established storm forecasting services. Under these systems a storm or flood "watch" cautions the public about the possibility of trouble, and a "warning" alerts them when the storm or flood is imminent and shelter must be sought at once.

After the flood, when local authorities advise that it is safe to return, go back by daylight. Watch out for fallen electric lines, leaking gas or oil, and inflammable or explosive materials from upstream. Reenter only after your ascertain that the foundation and walls are sound. Inside, watch for buckling, nails or holes underfoot and for loose plaster overhead.

Cleaning the house, however, is a job you can do for yourself and the sooner you start the better. Moving furniture from room to room or outdoors as you go, remove the silt deposit and debris from floors and walls. As soon as water is available, flush out the silt residue with hose and its contents.

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