September has been designated National Preparedness Month and who better to help homeowners prepare their homes for natural disasters than home inspectors.

“With the number of significant natural disasters that have occurred in the past year alone, it’s time to step-up and share with clients some of the possible ways they can protect their homes and properties from natural disasters,” Dan Steward, president of Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, wrote in an “Ask the Expert” column on RISmedia.com.

Steward suggested home inspectors share these tips for preparedness with clients:

• Steward noted that according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Earth’s temperature has risen by more than 1.4°F over the last 100 years. This increase, along with water resulting from heavy rains and flooding, can cause dangerous molds.

• High humidity levels from the environment in unoccupied and closed-up homes can lead to musty odors and possible mold growth. Clients can reduce humidity levels with air conditioning during humid months, as long as the air conditioning’s drain lines are not clogged.

• Clients should determine whether the location of their home is prone to natural occurrences such as tornadoes, floods or landslides, and have an evacuation plan in place for both family and pets. In the event of strong winds, basements, bathrooms and hallways can be used as safe spaces.

• According to the article, a basic emergency supply kit should include water, non-perishable food, flashlights, generators, cellphones, a portable radio, a first aid kit and any necessary medications.

• Store hazardous items and debris in a safe place. Trim trees and shrubbery to prevent branches from falling into your home and clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts. Outdoor furniture should be anchored properly.

Are there any other tips you think should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: “Ask the Expert: How can I help clients protect their homes from natural disasters?” RISMedia.com (Jul. 30, 2016)