Overturned house after Hurricane Irma

Natural disasters are responsible for about 60,000 deaths every year around the world. The most common are droughts and floods. But everything from hurricanes to tsunamis are considered natural disasters, and they can destroy communities for many years. Moving after a natural disaster can add more considerations to an already complicated process.

If you’re making a move sometime soon and a natural disaster has put a halt to your plans, take a step back and consider your best options. You might be moving from an area that just experienced a natural disaster. In that case, you might need to deal with some setbacks in selling your current home. You may not even have power or running water while you’re trying to move.

On the other hand, if you’re moving to an area that was recently hit by a natural disaster, you will need to do some planning ahead of time to make sure you’re safe when you get there.

So, what are the best tips to keep in mind if you’re moving after a natural disaster? Let’s cover both of these scenarios and talk more about how you can stay safe and prepared.

Moving Somewhere Where a Natural Disaster Just Occurred

Some areas of the U.S. are more prone to disasters than others. For example, the states most affected by hurricanes each year include:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Louisana
  • South Carolina
  • Mississippi

If you’re moving to one of these southern states, you should be prepared to deal with heavy rains and winds. But if you’re moving to a place where a natural disaster recently occurred, you might feel overwhelmed. What can you do?

First of all, expect difficulties. Your expectations going into the move will set the tone for how it affects you. If an area was just hit by something like a hurricane, make sure you know what you’re walking into. Don’t wade in floodwaters or enter any building until it has been thoroughly inspected and is marked secure. Clean and disinfect everything in your new home before using it. Moving during a hurricane or just after one has occurred isn’t impossible, but it does take some time and there will be setbacks to deal with.

Going Somewhere New After You’ve Experienced a Disaster

If you have recently gone through a natural disaster and you’re trying to move, you will face a different set of hurdles. It can be difficult to sell a home that has just been through something like a major storm or flooding. Even if you live in a drought area, people aren’t likely to flock there in droves to purchase real estate.

You may find yourself having to rebuild or repair some things around your home to make it salable before you move.

But the most important thing in moving away from a disaster is to remain safe. It might be difficult to get out of your community if there have been things like flooding or structural damage to buildings. Wait until it is safe to move rather than trying to rush away from the impacted area. Additionally, make sure you have a place to store your belongings safely before they are transported. If you’re not currently living in your home that was affected by the disaster, having a reliable storage unit can make a big difference in keeping your things secure.

When you do decide to make the move, do it safely. Never travel alone, bring emergency supplies and a first aid kit, and wear the right clothing for traveling in less-than-ideal conditions. Having the right gear with you and a mindset of taking your time, rather than rushing out and risking injury, will help to keep you and your family safe as you journey toward your new location.

How to Stay Prepared

Natural disasters can happen almost anywhere. One of the best things you can do no matter where you’re moving to (or from) is to stay prepared. Always bring an emergency disaster supply kit and evacuation kit with you from move to move. Your disaster supply kit should include things like:

  • One gallon of drinking water for each person
  • Rain gear
  • Manual can opener
  • Bug repellent
  • Canned food
  • Garbage bags
  • Soap
  • Sanitation items
  • Extra gasoline for your car

It’s also important to keep your home and place of work as secure as possible after a move into a “disaster area.” Unfortunately, looting and rioting aren’t uncommon after certain natural disasters, so having security locks and alarm systems in place can make a big difference in keeping you and your belongings safe.

Whether you’re moving away from a recent natural disaster or moving to an area that has just been hit, keeping an open mind and staying diligent with your preparedness is the best thing you can do. There may be similar disasters in the future, no matter where you go. Packing and preparing now will make those easier to deal with if/when they do arrive.

Finding Help with Moving Professionals

We hope you found this blog post on Moving After a Natural Disaster useful. Be sure to check out our post on Hurricane Safety: Preparing Your Emergency Kit for more great tips!

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