Your home could be vulnerable to disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, or flooding. However, there are steps you can take to bolster the chances of your home withstanding the impacts from these extreme weather events. There are stronger building standards you can use, insurance advice you can follow, and other actions you can take to make sure you’re protecting your home to the best of your ability.

One thing you can do is use IBHS FORTIFIED Home™ standards when building or re-roofing your home. These standards go beyond normal building codes and are a proven way to strengthen your home. You can see demonstrations on this website of the difference it makes. These changes can also make your insurance more affordable, so look to see what insurance discounts and incentives are available to you. FORTIFIED has three different levels of designation available, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Bronze is the easiest to achieve when re-roofing and Gold can usually only be reached with serious retrofitting or on a new building as it is constructed.

To meet the Bronze standard, the roof system is retrofitted to include a sealed roof deck, upgraded roof deck attachments, high wind rated roof covering, wind/rain resistant soffit vents, and wind/rain resistant gable overhangs and vents. You can learn how to upgrade your home to FORTIFIED Home™ standards on our website.

Next, making sure you have the right insurance helps to protect your home and possessions further. There are different coverage types and exclusions to keep in mind for your unique situation. Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Cost Value (RCV) are stipulations within a policy you need to be aware of. Ideally, you have an RCV policy to provide the best protection for your home. Read the Alabama Coastal Insurance Shopper’s Guide to learn other valuable information about insurance, such as that homeowner’s insurance does not include flood insurance.

Flood insurance is its own policy and must be acquired separately from homeowners insurance. Also, there is a perception that if you aren’t in a certain flood zone, then you won’t need to worry about flood insurance. This is actually false. Anywhere it rains, it can flood. The National Flood Insurance Program is designed to help everyone get access to flood coverage and it can be very affordable.

Finally, you can make preparations long before a storm heads your way, this will make dealing with a disaster easier. Making and practicing an evacuation plan, compiling important documents (in a digital format if possible), and creating an emergency kit are all ways you can prepare. Find more information and resources about disaster planning on our website such as checklists and advice that can help you disaster-proof your home and life.