The severe weather conditions are picking back up this November, as a series of floods and mudslides have wiped out entire towns in British Columbia. The extreme weather conditions are reminiscent of this past summer, where wildfires ravaged British Columbia in all parts of the province. It is important that people have an emergency plan in place in the event of an evacuation order. There are a variety of ways to ensure you and your family are ready to leave your houses in Shuswap if need be. Wildfires, floods, and other extreme weather circumstances can cause lots of damage if you aren’t prepared.
Continue reading this article to learn how to stay ahead of the storm in the event of a disaster and what to do when your home is currently for sale!
Preparing Houses in Shuswap for Wildfires
Wildfires are a common occurrence in British Columbia, specifically in the Okanagan region. Our hot dry climate is recently something to be prepared for when it comes to fire risk. If you have a home in the Shuswap region, it is important to be well-prepared for the summer fire season. Being safe mostly comes down to being aware of what’s happening around you. In order to stay in the know about fires in the surrounding area, have several ways to receive alerts. You can download apps, turn on local news notifications, and remain in regular contact with family and friends. This is especially important if you’ve chosen a Shuswap cabin off the grid. Another way to protect yourself is to check air quality reports regularly. Poor air quality is a good warning sign that there are fires nearby.
Make an emergency plan
The next thing you’ll want to do is make an emergency plan. If a wildfire is to erupt at your home, work, kids’ school, you’ll need a plan in place. Most usually, the fire season happens during summer break so it is likely that you may have already have time off from work and school. Think about where you would typically be, where you visit often, and what you would do in that situation.
If you have pets or other animals, be sure to consider them as well. Having a go-bag in case you need to evacuate is essential. These can be kept in your vehicle or near an exit in your home. Make sure when coming up with a plan you also check that your insurance and identification are up-to-date.
Strengthen your home!
Finally, strengthening your home can reduce damages and keep you safe. Upgrading highly flammable materials to fire-retardant ones can make the difference in you getting out of your home safely. Having a room that is closed off from the outside is necessary during smoky conditions.
Thinking About Flooding.
Floods can happen at any time during the year. However, we are more at risk during the spring and fall. In autumn, this is due to high precipitation levels and dry ground from the summer. And, in the spring, it is from melting snow and increased precipitation. There are lots of things you can do to prepare for flooding if you live in houses in the Shuswap. Before floods hit, it’s important to know your risk. You can do so by checking where floods have caused damage in the past, speaking with local officials, and speaking with your insurance company. Ensure that you know and practice evacuation routes and monitor alerts during flooding seasons. Avoid traveling to and from areas that are prone to flooding. Once again, having an emergency plan in place is essential.
Get proper coverage
If your home is at risk for flooding, contact your insurance provider to get coverage in case damages occur. Protect valuables like passports, identification cards, cash, jewelry, and sentimental items in waterproof cases. Moreover, think about repairing cracks and holes in your basement or in rooms near ground level. In addition, you may consider adding sealant to windows and ground-level doors. It is also advisable to clean up landscaping adjacent to your home and ensure the land slopes away from your property. Make sure drains and eavestroughs aren’t clogged so heavy rains don’t damage roofing and leak into your home. Houses in the Shuswap near a river or creek should consider buying sandbags to help slow down water flow during flooding.
Those living in a high-risk area should come up with a similar flooding plan to their wildfire plan. Thinking about pets, clothes, insurance, and proper identification is key to weathering the storm.
Extra Precautions to Consider.
There are a few extra precautions residents of houses in Shuswap should take to be extra prepared. Having an emergency kit with non-perishable foods, medicine, and first-aid supplies is a great starting point. You can keep this kit in your home near a common exit point. Alternatively, you could leave it in your vehicle. Or, even better, keep a small version in your car and a full kit in your home. If there are a series of disasters it’s important to get fuel for your vehicle(s). This way, in the case of a supply chain shortage or if you need to evacuate you’ll have fuel to get where you need to be.
Charging your phone in advance and keeping a portable charger that is also charged is a handy thing to consider. Keeping away from the disaster scene so emergency teams can deal with the situation is crucial; for both your safety and the safety of others.
Who will buy my home after a natural disaster strikes?
This is where having a great REALTOR® on your side helps to calm your nerves and keep you focused on the road ahead. Keep in mind that your insurance company will be busy after a large-scale event. Get to the top of that list by getting in touch with them as soon as possible. Keep following local news and emergency services to find out when you can safely return to your home. Once you can safely return, don’t forget to bring a camera and start documenting everything that you can. Take lots of pictures, keep all of your receipts, and if you start to repair items, then document those repairs. Keeping track of your situation with photographic evidence is a great way to stay on track.
Next, we should decide if you can keep your home on the market or if we should pause the listing until repairs are made. In some cases, you might already be under a new contract or have a move already in the works. We will work together to come up with a strategy in this case. Often times a market can take a slight hit after a natural disaster strikes. However, we’ve seen recently that those dips do not last long, so there’s no need to panic about the value of your home in most situations.
Contact Me About Houses in Shuswap Today.
For more support on preparing houses in Shuswap for natural disasters, contact me today! I’d be happy to point you in the direction of emergency resources and planning assistance. Be sure to check out my social media for the latest updates and more about real estate in the area. I look forward to hearing from you soon 🙂