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Caribbean Disaster Mitigation and Community Empowerment Initiative UNITED CARIBBEAN TRUST-Protect your home

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DISASTERS happen. There is not much we can do about that. But there are things we can do to protect our homes and reduce the risk that they will be damaged. Reducing the risk is called "mitigation." Although some mitigation is very expensive and complicated -- like moving your home to a different piece of land that is higher or away from a river -- some things are easy. Here are some things you and your family can do to mitigate:


Don’t put valuable items and appliances in the basement where they are more likely to be flooded.

Power and water don’t mix! Have the main breaker or fuse box and the utility meters raised above the flood level for your area. That way, if your home floods, water won’t damage your utilities.

Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Don’t lose your roof to high winds! Have hurricane straps installed to keep the roof attached to the walls.

Use storm shutters to protect windows and glass. Use them when severe weather is coming. The storm shutters protect against flying debris like tree trunks or other things carried by strong winds.


Bolt or strap cupboards and bookcases to the walls and keep heavy objects on the lower shelves so they don’t fall on people.

Strap your water heater to a nearby wall. This will keep your gas water heater from falling on someone or starting a fire from a broken gas main.

Have your home bolted to the foundation. Anchor bolts cost as little as $2 each. They should be installed every six feet on the outer edges of your house.

Wild Fires

Create a safety zone around the house that separates your home from plants and bushes that can burn easily. Clear dead brush and grass from your property. It will act as fuel for a fire.

Keep branches around your home free of dead or dying wood or moss.

Put tile or flame-retardant shingles on your roof instead of wood shakes or standard shingles. This will cut the chance that burning debris in the air will catch your roof on fire.

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