We live in pretty perilous times. Every time we turn on the news there is something new and sad or news about parts of the world where disaster has struck. We never know when that place we hear about might be a little closer to home. So it is more important than ever to be prepared for an emergency. Even smaller emergencies like the power going out can cause a bit of a problem for us if we don’t know where certain things in our home are. If you think that you need to be more prepared, then you’re not alone! We can all do this together and make our homes a safer place to be, should disaster strike. Preparedness isn’t just for our neighbors or people that we see on the news. It is for everyone. Here are some of the best ways to prepare your home for an emergency.
Pack a Grab Bag
If you have something in your home like a fire or a flood, then it might mean that you have to leave your home for a couple of days, or perhaps even longer. So having a bag that you can just grab at a moment’s notice is a must. It is a good idea to keep the bag in a pretty safe place in the home. Having it at height could be a good idea in case of a flood. It could even be worth keeping it in a shed or garage, that is slightly separate from the main building. But from there you can just grab it and go. What are the best things to have in a bag like that, though? A couple of days worth of food and water for your family is a must. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, as who knows where you’ll be for that time. But things to give energy and fill you with protein and fiber are a good idea. So granola or energy bars are a safe choice, as well as brown rice, dried fruit snacks and nuts.
Other things to include are flashlights, batteries, a small first aid kit, a small tool kit could be a good idea, as well as money and copies of important documents. If any of your family members take medication then having some in there, or at least their prescription, is a good idea too. Sanitation like some baby wipes and extra baby items if needed, like diapers and formula. It is a pretty easy kit to get together. It needs a small amount of time dedicated to it to get it done. So don’t delay!
In an emergency, it can be hard to think of who you need to call. So having a list written out is a good idea. You could have the contacts in your cell phone too. But as your emergency could be lack of electricity, it could mean that you don’t have a way to charge your phone to get the numbers. So written copies is a good idea too. It should have family members numbers, as well as schools, work and hospitals. It is a good idea to have down the number of people like your local plumber, flood services, fire brigade and police. Then you can deal with any problem that you have quite quickly. Writing each immediate family members number down is a good idea. We should know their numbers off by heart, right? But as we just use cell phones these days we might not know what it is. But being able to get in touch with each other is going to be helpful should you get separated.
Make an Action Plan
Whether you live by yourself, with a partner or with a family, an action plan is going to be most helpful. In a stressful emergency situation, it can be hard to think straight. So already have a plan of action is a good idea. It could be to plan an escape route if there is a fire downstairs. You could decide which windows will open the largest and where the safest route down would be. Talking in through with your children is a great idea too. You could almost act it out, so they understand what you mean. Take the house fire example again. It could be that you get down to the floor and practice crawling from room to room, so that they learn about smoke and that the smoke will rise. So keeping low to the ground is the best thing to do. Then should the worst happen, everyone will have a memory of what is expected of them and where they should go.
Know Your Home
If I was to ask you to locate the water pipe stop switch, would you know where it is? Do you know where your boiler is or where the electrical fuse box is? If you don’t know these things, then you need to find out. It is a good idea for all of the family to know where they are too. If you’ve got a gas leak, you want to know how to switch off the gas or heating, so that things don’t get worse, for instance. So get to know your home and where these ‘emergency’ buttons are.
Having some food storage in the home is an amazing idea. We might not have a disaster that directly affects our home or neighborhood. But more locally, there could be a flood or explosion on local farms or shortages of food because of a number of reasons. There could be a flood close by to us, meaning that we have to stay in our homes and can’t get out to the stores. So in order to survive at home, you do need to have as much food storage in the home as possible. Think of tinned and dried goods like beans, rice, sauces, tinned fruit and tinned vegetables. It might not be the most glamorous foods, but it will sustain you should you need it.