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Catastrophe Central

Catastrophe Central

Do you need to prepare yourself, your family, your home, or your business for a natural disaster? Are you looking for information to help with the recovery process? Are you hoping to improve your community’s long-term resilience for the future?  

AIA may be able to help. Below are some resources and information to prepare for any kind of disaster, guide you toward emergency resources and information, and help you navigate the recovery process. State specific resources and information are available here.

Hurricanes

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Storm Tracker: National Hurricane Center

How Do I Prepare for a Hurricane?

Hurricanes can bring high winds, flooding, and other kinds of destruction, so AIA encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to stormproof their homes before a storm hits. Among other things, consider adopting mitigation techniques for your home, like making sure your downspouts are clean and directed away from the house, trimming or removing damaged trees and tree limbs, securing and reinforcing your roof, as well as ensuring your sump pump is working and the battery is fully charged. If you’re in a flood-prone area, consider looking into your flood insurance options or even elevating your home.

Families also should consider putting together a disaster plan and practicing it ahead of time. Be sure to know your local hurricane evacuation routes and have a disaster supplies kit with cash, first aid supplies, a copy of your insurance policy, and other essentials ready to go.

More Preparation Resources:

What Should I Do During a Hurricane?

First and foremost, stay safe. Pay attention to local forecasts, heed evacuation notices from officials, and if necessary, follow the evacuation plan you prepared in advance. Sign up for emergency alerts in your community and move quickly to a safe location.

Your state or local government has a number of channels through which it communicates important updates. These could include food bank locations, safe places to take shelter, and other forms of assistance.

More Emergency Resources:

How Do I Recover After a Hurricane?

Do not return to your property until officials have said it is safe to do so. As you and your neighbors begin the recovery process, remember that everyone responds to tragedies in their own way. There are several resources available that can help you wrestle with a disaster’s emotional toll.

As you begin cleaning up your property, make sure you follow public health guidance on safe clean-up procedures. Prepare a list of damaged property, and photograph or video damaged items and areas. Provide this list, with as much detail as you can, to your insurer or agent, so that they can process your claim as quickly as possible.

Finally, use this opportunity to rebuild stronger. Research the mitigation tactics that might be best for your situation, which may include adopting stronger building standards, re-landscaping your yard to absorb or divert water, or even elevating your home. If applicable, consider taking advantage of any buyback program your state offers if your house is at risk for repeat flooding.

More Recovery Resources:

Floods

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How Do I Prepare for a Flood?

Ninety percent of natural disasters in the United States involve some kind of flooding. It’s the most common natural disaster in the United States, and it can happen anywhere – near oceans, rivers, levees, dams, and even after snowstorms. AIA encourages homeowners to think through their flood risk and prepare now – flooding can happen quickly, and even one inch of water can cause significant damage to your home.

Before a flood happens, among other things, consider taking steps to better prepare your property, like making sure your downspouts are clean and directed away from the house, trimming or removing damaged trees and tree limbs, securing and reinforcing your roof, as well as ensuring your sump pump is working and the battery is fully charged. Make sure you subscribe to your community’s emergency alert system and prepare an evacuation plan for you and your family to follow in case of a flood. Lastly, since your standard homeowners’ policy does not cover flooding, you may want to consider getting a flood insurance policy.

More Preparation Resources:

What Should I Do During a Flood?

First and foremost, stay safe. Pay attention to local forecasts, heed evacuation notices from officials, and if necessary, follow the evacuation plan you prepared in advance and move quickly to higher ground. Your state or local government has a number of channels through which it communicates important updates. These could include food bank locations, safe places to take shelter, and other forms of assistance.

More Emergency Resources:

How Do I Recover From a Flood?

Make sure you don’t return to your property until officials have said it is safe to do so. As you and your neighbors begin the recovery process, remember that everyone responds to tragedies in their own way. There are several resources available that can help you wrestle with a disaster’s emotional toll.

As you begin cleaning up your property, make sure you follow public health guidance on safe clean-up procedures. Prepare a list of damaged property, and photograph or video damaged items and areas. Provide this list, with as much detail as you can, to your insurer or agent, so that they can process your claim as quickly as possible.

Finally, use this opportunity to rebuild stronger. Research the mitigation tactics that might be best for your situation, which may include adopting stronger building standards, re-landscaping your yard to absorb or divert water, or even elevating your home. If applicable, consider taking advantage of any buyback program your state offers if your house is at risk for repeat flooding.

More Recovery Resources:

Wildfires

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How Do I Prepare for a Wildfire?

AIA encourages communities to think proactively about building smart and strong before a wildfire starts. Wildfires can occur anywhere in the country and at any time throughout the year, but your community is at a higher risk if it hasn’t rained in a while or if it’s particularly windy. 

There are lots of resources out there to protect yourself and property, including fire-resistant building materials, evacuation planning assistance, and fire prevention tips. The National Institute of Building Sciences recently found that every $1 invested in wildfire mitigation saves $3 in rebuilding costs, so preparing now could make all the difference for you and your family.

More Preparation Resources: 

What Should I Do During a Wildfire? 

First and foremost, stay safe. Wildfires can spread quickly and unpredictably, so it’s important to follow any evacuation warnings in your area. Sign up for emergency alerts in your community and move quickly to a safe location. 

Your state or local government has a number of channels through which it communicates important updates. These could include food bank locations, safe places to take shelter, and other forms of assistance. 

Finally, while you are away from your home, keep track of all your recovery-related receipts and expenses, including those for meals and lodging – these may be covered under the “additional living expenses” portion of your insurance policy.  

More Emergency Resources: 

How Do I Recover From a Wildfire? 

Make sure you don’t return to your property until fire officials have said it is safe to do so. As you and your neighbors begin the recovery process, remember that everyone responds to tragedies in their own way. There are several resources available that can help you wrestle with a disaster’s emotional toll. 

As you begin cleaning up your property, make sure you follow public health guidance on safe clean-up procedures and wear heavy gloves and thick-soled shoes. Prepare a list of damaged property, and photograph or video damaged items and areas. Provide this list, with as much detail as you can, to your insurer or agent, so that they can process your claim as quickly as possible. 

Finally, use this opportunity to rebuild stronger. Take advantage of preparation resources to make your home more fire-resistant, so you are ready for whatever comes your way next. 

More Recovery Resources: 

AIA CONTACT

Maggie Seidel
VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC AFFAIRS
(202) 828-7196
mseidel@aiadc.org

Rachel Wallen (Media Contact)
PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER
(202) 828-7149
rwallen@aiadc.org

Kristina Braxton
PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER
(202) 828-7134
kbraxton@aiadc.org