Emergency Preparedness Tips
1. Remember to prepare for everyone in the home. When you are putting together a plan to prepare in the case of an emergency, it is very important to remember to plan for not only yourself and your children, but also for your family pets and any guests who could potentially be with you at the time of the emergency. Many people fail to plan for their pets, and unfortunately many pets are lost each year as a result. Sometimes, you have to act in the best interest of the people, and there is nothing that you can do. But it is definitely worth putting together an emergency plan for your pets.
2. Have meeting places lined up, and make sure that everyone knows where they are. You should generally have three-five locations that everyone in the home knows about where you can meet up in the case of separation during an emergency. This could be a neighbor’s front yard, a local business and possibly a relative’s home a few miles away. This way, you will not have to wander around looking for family members because they too will make their way toward the pre- determined locations.
3. Attach your appliances to the floor. Particularly in flood prone areas, it is recommended that gas appliances be attached to the floor. Your appliance will most likely be destroyed in the case of a severe flood; however the risk that you are alleviating is that of your gas line rupturing, presenting a possible explosion risk within your home. You can use straps, mounting bolts or another method for attaching the appliances to the floor, or even to a wall. Just remember that is you attach to the wall, the wall should be constructed of solid material.
4. Buy plenty of flashlights and even more batteries. It is always important to have a flashlight on hand. In general, most people use flashlights ten or more times during the course of a year. A good quality flashlight should be on hand in the kitchen, or other central room of the home. In addition, everyone should have a flashlight near their bed in case of a middle of the night emergency. There are now a lot of emergency flashlights that do not require batteries. Instead, they are powered by a hand crank and have a halogen bulb for added brightness.
5. Inspect your home carefully. One of the first things to do when planning for emergency preparedness is to get to know the ins and outs of your home. At a minimum, you should know where all of your utility shut-offs are located. You should also take a look around to see if there are heavy objects which could fall on someone and result in an injury. Take care to check the handrails on your stairs to ensure safety in a situation where the stairs are unstable.
6. Reconsider your storage areas. Take some time to look through your storage areas to ensure that the heaviest items on shelves are at the bottom, near the floor.