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Disaster Prep and First Response

Alison Victoria Discusses How Smart Homes Are Evolving for Disaster Preparedness

Photo: Courtesy of Allison Victoria

Alison Victoria, the renowned home remodeler from HGTV’s Rock the Block, knows that smart home technology is not only making homes safer and more convenient, it is changing how we think about disaster preparedness.

“It’s already being incorporated,” Victoria said of smart home technology, “from renovations to new construction.” When it comes to new construction, homes that aren’t being prewired will not sell for as much as homes that are prepared for smart technology. “You’ve got to be prewiring for all of this,” Victoria said.

Major selling points

The most obvious benefit to smart home technology is the ease of control. “It’s the ease of having everything controlled on your devices,” Victoria said. “That’s a huge point in the sale of any of my homes. Whether it’s your office that’s voice activated or Alexa-enabled, or your security and cameras and television, they’re all controlled by your phone.” Alexa-enabled homes also allow for instant weather updates, making storm preparation much more convenient.

Smart homes also provide added security benefits. “When I come home at night and I want to feel safe,” Victoria said. “I have a lighting preset that knows when I’m walking in and all the lights that I need to go on go on.” When Victoria isn’t at home, she’s able to keep an eye on her house via her smart home technology. “I check my cameras when I’m out of town, or make sure my house is locked up. All of that is the ease and security that you want and need.”

Ahead of the game

When it comes to disaster preparedness, smart home technologies are continuing to innovate. In areas where homes might be subject to wildfire or drought, smart irrigation systems can test the dryness of soil so that homeowners know when to water. In the case of wildfire, sensors can detect when a fire has reached a property, allowing the homeowner to turn on a sprinkler system remotely.

These are the kinds of innovations changing the way we think about smart homes, not just as added convenience but ensuring a home’s safety. “It eases stress and anxiety, when you’re out of town knowing your house is okay because you can check on everything,” Victoria said. “It has absolutely changed my life for the better.”

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