Natural disaster is always one of the biggest issues with owning property, and while the risk is low, you should always prepare. Earthquakes are one of the major risks in the Seattle area with nearly a dozen major fault lines crisscrossing the Puget Sound area and King County. As such, Issaquah is at a risk for earthquakes, and it is important for you to prepare for them if you want to ensure that you sustain as little damage, and spend as little money on repairs as possible. While one of the worst earthquakes on record caused some $12.5 million in damage, you can prevent damage to your property by taking the steps to prevent and anticipate it. The following include a few tips from local Issaquah property management companies on preparing your rental units and homes for earthquakes.
Get Earthquake Insurance
The most crucial step to protecting your investment is to pay for insurance that covers earthquakes. It is important to ensure that you buy renters insurance, even if the unit is a single family home. You’ll also want to check specifications on natural disaster coverage. For example, earthquakes can set of landslides and even fires, which can cause more property damage than the earthquake itself, so it is important to have that as well.
Retrofit Older Units
If you have older apartment buildings, single family homes, or multifamily units, then they might not be structurally sound enough to withstand an earthquake. For example, most homes built before 1980 were not bolted to the foundation, which makes them much more likely to suffer structural damage in case of a quake. There are multiple companies around the Puget Sound area that retrofit homes. While not cheap (it usually costs about $6-$9,000 per unit) it will save you a lot of money in case of a major earthquake, and could even save lives by preventing a structural collapse. Reinforcement is especially important for units with two or more stories, because the second floor decreases the stability of the structure. Retrofitting a home requires a city permit, but the company doing the retrofitting should do the application for you. Retrofitting also improves the property value, which is ideal if you intend to resell it later.
Whether you go online to read up on Earthquake management or take one of the free seminars offered throughout the year with tips on securing homes, hiring the right contractors, and various items you need if you intend to retrofit it on your own.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that your tenants are prepared, and that they know where and how to stock items such as glassware and food to prevent as much damage as possible. The Issaquah Citizen Corps offer free handouts for emergency preparedness, as does the local Fire Department.
Want more help from a local Issaquah property management company? Contact us today to see how we can help with managing and caring for your property.