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Is your building prepared for a disaster?

September is officially National Preparedness Month, and the United States Geological Survey has published links to a number of pages with helpful information about preparing for emergency conditions. Emergency issues that can arise in California include earthquakes, wild fires, flooding from El Nino and even tsunami issues on the coast.

Preparing ahead of time for such events can help you save your own life as well of the lives of others. One important preparation is to make sure your home or building is constructed in a way that is as safe as possible in the types of conditions prevalent in your area. The includes, for example, ensuring buildings are constructed with certain types of earthquake-resistant structures when possible.

If you are buying a new home or property, then you should always ask questions about what preventatives were built into the construction and what was later added to the home. If you are working with a contractor, then ensure you ask about what codes must be met and what will be done to ensure the safety of the structure.

Once you've done what you can to make your home or commercial property safe, take actions for personal preparation. Keep canned foods on hand, store candles and flashlights in easy-to-reach places and take time to understand the evacuation routes for your area. Have a plan for both walking out and driving out, depending on the danger you are facing.

While certain construction methods can help protect your home in the event of a disaster, there's really no fool-proof build against the strongest earthquakes or deepest floods, and very few constructions stand up against engulfing flames. If you believe your property was damaged in a natural event because of a construction flaw, however, talk to a construction law professional about what options you might have for seeking reparations.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey, "September is National Preparedness Month," Sep. 01, 2016

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