According to FEMA 60% of adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster.
While few people think a disaster will affect them it is still important that you have an emergency plan in place to protect you and your family by providing a quick escape or the ability to last several days without modern conveniences.
Here are five steps to prepare your home for an emergency.
Identify the types of emergencies applicable to you
Many people understand that where they live will dictate the emergencies they are susceptible to. Yet, when planning, often times people generalize all emergencies under the same category or simply assemble an all-purpose bug out bag in case emergency strikes.
However, for people who live in certain parts of California that are prone to forest fires and earthquakes, how they handle their emergency is much different than someone in the Midwest who experience tornadoes. For example, if tornadoes are common you need to either install a storm shelter or plan what to do when a significant storm approaches. If you live in an unsafe community, you may practice what your family should do in case of an in-home invasion or burglary.
Define access points
Commonly, homes are being equipped with safe rooms that are designed to lock from the inside, are often hidden, and can withstand events such as a tornado. However, if you do not have a safe room or cannot access your meeting location, installing features such as escape windows for your children and making sure to get them serviced regularly by experts more @ www.saswindowcleaning.com.au/residential-window-cleaning/ can help in a big way. Also having safe hiding options, and identifying where to shelter in case of a tornado are important.
In addition, it is important to have an external meeting area so if your family exits through different locations of the house they know where to meet.
Install protective equipment
By law all new homes are required to have both fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If your home is not equipped, then that should be done as soon as you can. In addition, all homes should have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher, escape ladders for multi-level homes, and it is helpful to have outside monitoring cameras and alarms.
Protective equipment, in many cases can help you eliminate an emergency before it happens or mitigate the damage that can be inflicted due to the emergency.
Create a bug out bag
Bug out bags are very popular, and if you don’t have one, you likely know exactly what they are. These bags are made for a quick escape and provide you and your family essential items to survive for several days after a disaster.
Bags often include water, and energy foods such as granola bars and beef sticks. They should also include batteries, blankets, and radio and phone charger, flashlights, first aid kits, small tools, and many people keep a small supply of money and personal records in case they are separated from their home for an extended period of time.
Bug out bags should be easily identifiable such as bright red and stored in a location in line with your home’s primary exit.
Practice, practice, practice
Planning is great, but without regularly practicing emergency situations, all of your preparedness may be ineffective. While this is important, it is essential for families with children or pets. Emergencies often come on quickly and with little to no warning, so it is important that everyone in the family can work both together and as an individual. While this can be difficult with children, you may be surprised at how effective children are at handling emergency situations and overcoming their fears. In fact, you’ve probably heard about several times where a child saved a parent’s life by calling 911. Similarly, your child should understand how to locate a storm shelter, hide in place, or how to escape your home and find a designated safe location.
By practicing fire and storm drills at home twice a year your family will not only be prepared for those specific events, but they will also be able to manage other potential emergencies you may not practice for.
Emergencies happen everyday and many cannot be controlled. Identifying potential emergencies and having a plan in place to tackle them will help you and your family stay aware and safe.
By Lisa Smalls