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How to Design Floor Plans to Be Prepared for Natural Disasters

When designing any home, you have to pay special attention to the impact of such environmental conditions as hurricanes, heavy rain, snowstorms, flooding, earthquakes, etc. If one is designing a floor plan where there is a risk of a natural disaster, it is essential to make sure the plan is one that is able to resist environmental damage.

Designing a floor plan that mitigates the risk of natural disasters is a key feature to protecting the home and family. For instance, rooms should be designed to allow quick and easy exit out of a home in the event of a fire. If bedrooms are located on the second floor of a home, you have to make sure there is a quick and accessible exit where one does not have to go through a number of rooms to get to the stairs.

As well, there should be more than one way to exit in case fire is blocking one of the exit routes. If you live in a forested area and are concerned about wildfires, you can cover vents and other openings with a wire mesh to prevent sparks and flaming embers from entering the home. Porches, overhangs, and balconies can lock in heat so they should either be avoided or minimized. Because excessive heat passing through windows can ignite a fire, one should consider fire resistant shutters or drapes or triple pane thermal glass for rooms that have large windows such as the living room.

Flooding is another consideration that must be taken into account when designing a floor plan. If a home is going to be built in a flood prone area, one has to consider whether it would be beneficial to build above the ground; that is, without a basement. For instance, building the lowest floor that is above flood level. As well, if there is a risk of flooding, one has to consider designing rooms so that they are water tight. For instance, one could arrange for the rooms that are not considered critical parts of the home so that the most important rooms are protected from flooding.

For events such as severe windstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, floor design plans should include an easily accessible room where the entire family no matter where they are located in the home, to be able to quickly access a “safe room.” This room will be designed with safety in mind to protect the family in the event damage takes place throughout the rest of the home

The continual changes in our climate have significantly increased the hazardous risks to our homes. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires, have drastically increased in their severity. We have all seen the tragic impact of natural disasters on homes and lives in the news.

When designing a floor plan, it is essential to take the environmental risks into consideration so that you minimize the risks of damage and make sure the occupants have a safe exit and safe room to stay during a severe natural disaster. When you build a home that takes the threat of natural disasters into consideration, you will greatly increase protection of your home, belongings, and most importantly, your loved ones.

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