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The recent cold weather blast is a reminder for many homeowners to be prepared. But for a few, they've taken extreme measures to battle the elements.

"Many Americans right now are feeling the effects of the polar vortex, whether it is through canceled flights, school and business closings, or turning the heat up at home due to single-digit temperatures in some areas of the country," said Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications for Move Inc., the operator of realtor.com.

Built-in features for protecting houses from such potentially destructive weather conditions have progressed beyond the basic storm cellars, lightning rods and old-fashioned sturdy construction.

While it's often true in housing today that they don't build 'em like they used to, flimsy home construction is not going to cut it for withstanding drastic weather. The following homes are examples of habitations designed with special features to withstand flooding, high winds, extreme cold, fires and other natural disasters.

—By Colleen Kane
Posted 10 Jan. 2014

Image source: Dan Nelson