How To Be Prepared For An Emergency
Many people do not want to consider the possibility of the worst happening. However, as we've seen time and time again, the worst can happen at any time. Whether you find yourself in the middle of a winter snowstorm emergency, or in the middle of a large-scale disaster, being prepared is not only a good idea but may also save your life.
So, what steps can you take to prepare your home for an emergency?
Invest in a Generator
If you are stuck at home with no power, a generator can be a lifesaver. You never know how long it will be before services are restored if an emergency wipes out all power in your area. Spending time in the cold and dark is no fun and can make the situation worse. Purchase emergency generators to back you up, especially if you live in an area where you get frequent storms or poor weather conditions.
Ready.gov recommends that every household have an emergency supplies kit on hand at all times. The kit's purpose is to provide you with everything you need to survive for several days in one convenient and organized place. If you need to leave quickly, you can grab your equipment and leave. Alternatively, if you end up sheltering in your home, you'll find that your supplies are already there and ready to go. What should be in your kit?
Bottled water - 1 gallon per person per day, including pets
Non -perishable food
A battery-powered radio
First aid kit
Baby feeding equipment
A dry outfit
Know Your Shut-Off Valves
Depending on the situation, you may have to turn off your home's electricity, natural gas, and water supply in an emergency. Find out where those shutoff valves are located right now and how to turn them off in an appropriate manner. You need to know this before you are confronted with a life-threatening emergency.
Emergency Warnings and Shelters
Finding out where the nearest emergency shelters are, what the warning signals in your city sound like (and what each one means), and any evacuation routes you might need to take are all critical things to know. Learning this information ahead of time will help you and your family stay calm and in control during an emergency.
Create An Emergency Plan
Do you have a plan in place for communicating with your family in the event of an emergency? For example, who will be responsible for picking up your children from school? Will you all get together at your house or somewhere else? What happens if your cell phone isn't working? It is critical to devise a strategy for staying in touch with your family, especially if you cannot return home as a result of the disaster. Begin by deciding on two central meeting points where everyone will be able to connect in an emergency.
A secondary meeting point is a good idea, too, along with a secondary point of contact. It is sometimes more convenient to call from a different location than it is to call from home in an emergency. If you become separated from your family, this person can assist you in relaying messages to your other family members.