Keeping Your Family Home Emergency Ready

July 23, 2021

None of us wants to think that we are going to have to cope with difficult and traumatic times in our lives, and especially not the kind that can threaten the safety of our home lives. But with risks like floods, storms, and wildfires becoming more prevalent and dramatic around the world, it is time to think about what extra step we can take to protect both our home and our way of life when we are in those times of crisis.

Protecting Against Storm Damage

One of the risks that are likely to affect most people is the danger of storm damage. Even areas that are rarely hit by high winds and heavy rains can find themselves in the path of a storm. One of the best ways to make sure your home is more likely to stand without storm damage is to invest in basic maintenance. Working with a roofing contractor like Morse Roofing and Siding to ensure there are no damage or missing shingles, repairing any loose siding, and ensuring that windows and doors are effectively sealed is crucial.

Keep an eye out for any loose parts that could fly and cause damage to the home. Check your fence posts to ensure that they are secure and if you have any trees or large bushes in the garden, keep them trimmed on a regular basis, as big branches snapping off and flying into the home is a serious risk.

Protecting Against Floods

Some areas are much more prone to flooding than others, be it due to elevation issues, being close to rivers, or being by the coast. However, some of the biggest flooding disasters come out of nowhere, due to levels of rainfall never before seen in the area. Effective drainage for the home, ensuring that water can flow away from the home and investing in a sump pump can help you prevent a flooded basement.

However, prevention is always better than the cure and you can invest in measures to stop water from getting inside the home as best as possible, such as temporary barriers for doors and windows, as well as one-way valves on your pipes that can stop water from coming up into the building. It’s always a good idea to have a water remediation team in your contact book, too, just in case the home does suffer some water damage.

Getting Self-Sufficient

One of the biggest risks during any kind of natural crisis or even something as simple as a power cut is that you are left without the utilities that you have been relying on all this time. There are a lot of ways to detach yourself from the grid or, at the very least, make sure that you have some backups. Solar energy is a good example of green energy that can sustain the home but it does not always work.

You should also look at the possibility of getting a backup generator for the home. With propane suppliers like Tri Gas & Oil, you can make sure that you are always in supply. That way, even if the lights are off all around you, you and your home are still supplied. Staying warm is especially vital in the winter so you need to ensure that your heating is not going to go off because of a failure in local utilities.

Stay Supplied

Being able to cope in a crisis might also require you to take care of your family’s needs for extended periods while there are no supply chain connections. To that end, a “go bag” or disaster supplies kit could be just what you need. You should have a kit that can fit in roughly two bags that the adults in the family can carry, enough to keep you fed, supplied, and safe for 72 hours or more.

Recommended disaster supply kits should include not just non-perishable food and water, but also first aid kits, prescription medication, any vital documents such as insurance or homeownership proof, some cash, as well as sleeping materials for each individual, such as sleeping bags, or blankets. There are also pre-made go bags that you can buy for convenience.

Keeping Connected

Staying in touch with loved ones can be vital, especially for those family members that might be more vulnerable in times of crisis. As such, having ways to stay connected to both them and the outside world can be crucial. You may be able to rely on standalone internet connections, such as using Wi-Fi dongles. However, a means to receive emergency alerts, such as a wind-up radio or a portable TV can also be crucial. You should make sure that every individual in the family carries a contract card with crucial emergency contacts, including an out-of-area contact who may be able to help from the outside. It can be important to use these even simply to let them know that you and your family are safe and where you can be found.

Surveying For Damage

If you have to leave the home as a result of a natural disaster, then you should make sure you are careful to be safe when you are returning to the home. Start with the exterior, checking for any damage, looking at any loose or fallen cables or other health hazards, as well as damage to gas lines or foundations. If you see any threats outside, you shouldn’t proceed inside. The same goes if you hear any hissing noises or smell any strange odors that could be a sign of a gas or carbon monoxide leak. Use a flashlight (not a candle) to assess damage inside and make sure to carefully document any damage to get the insurance claim that you deserve.

You cannot prepare your home for every emergency, but you can make sure that you are at ready as possible when a crisis strikes. The tips above are just a few considerations that you should make to keep your home as emergency ready as you possibly can. Consider the environmental and other kinds of risks that your home might be most susceptible to and find the right preparations.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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