The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is still well over two months from ending, and we've already had two powerful hurricanes make landfall in the United States. Hurricanes aren't the only natural disaster devastating the communities of millions of people either as fires are blazing through several counties in northern California.
Opportunistic burglars often view natural disasters as the ideal time to break into homes, so you need to start thinking about how you will protect your property. Here are a few tips for crime prevention during natural disasters;
Know Your Neighbors
It's a fact that tight-knit neighborhoods experience less crime, so getting to know your neighbors is a great method of crime prevention that comes at no cost. This is especially true in times of crisis such as natural disasters. A neighborhood that bands together will fare much better against opportunistic crime than a neighborhood where no one knows each other.
The best time to prepare for a natural disaster is well before it strikes. If you must evacuate suddenly, say if a fire rapidly breaks out in your neighborhood, it pays to know where you are going in advance and to know exactly where your vital possessions are (social security card, birth certificate, important financial documents) so you can grab them quickly.
If you live in a hurricane prone area then hurricane proofing your house will not only protect you from property damage but also make it more difficult for criminals to get into your house. A home with blown out windows and a door barely hanging onto the hinges is an easy target for would-be home invaders. The same logic applies to tornadoes and other severe weather events. Doing your best to reinforce your home so it doesn't end up vulnerable in the first place is a great crime deterrent.
Leave A Car in the Driveway
If your family has multiple cars, it's a good idea to leave one in the driveway to help create the illusion that someone is home. Of course, you would want to empty your car of valuables and ensure that it has an anti-theft device installed before you do this.
Update Your Home Security System
A home security system is the most effective line of defense against home invasions. They are so effective that most burglars won't even target homes with security systems as it's just too risky. Unfortunately, older home security systems aren't likely to have the features necessary to protect your home during a natural disaster so it might be time for an upgrade.
A modern home security system will have remote control access so you can keep an eye on things even if you are forced to evacuate your home. Some even allow you to adjust the lights in your home remotely, so you can make it look like someone is home even if no one is there.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that long-lasting power outages can quickly drain the backup batteries in alarm systems, so it's best to replace them before an impending natural disaster to ensure that there are no gaps in your protection.
Please contact us at J&J Security today to learn more about crime prevention and how to keep your home and your family safe during natural disasters.