How to disaster-proof your home

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Nov 21 2013 07:00 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2013 11:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Structures that can withstand natural disasters should be a top priority when looking for homes in the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 storms each year.

But when there is not much choice in finding disaster-safe places, homeowners should implement practical measures to protect their homes during and after calamities.

Financial adviser Salve Duplito said when checking the insurance coverage of your home, pay close attention to the amount of coverage.

“As you add reinforcements or improvements to your home, your insurance coverage should also increase so that you can get compensated with an amount sufficient enough to replace your existing home and not the original,” she said.

She advised taking videos and pictures of belongings in case there will be a need to claim insurance on the contents of the home.

She also said copies of important financial documents should be made, and kept in emergency bags that can withstand disasters.

Duplito also highlighted the importance of invest in a closed garage to keep vehicles free from debris and floods, and a front door made of solid wood or any other heavy material and secured by a dead bolt.

“That expense can more than pay for itself by keeping you and your family safe,” she said.

She added that unsecured items in the home, such as garbage cans and furniture, may threaten to damage homes during floods and strong winds.

“All these will not just require all of us to change paradigms when it comes to building the one thing that’s more expensive than everything we will buy in a lifetime. It will require a culture change, a different way of looking at a world that will have category 5 storms as the new norm,” said Duplito. -- ANC On The Money