We have all read about disasters that can cause major damage to our home. Severe thunderstorms, lightning, flooding, high winds, tornadoes can strike at any time. We always think it happens to the other guy – but that was what the other guy thought before it happened to him! Read on for six action items to get you better prepared for disaster.
Fill a fireproof box
Include identification and other important cards, financial records, family photos and emergency cash in small bills.
Design a disaster plan
It must include whom to contact and where to meet family members in case of an emergency. Ensure that all family members know the plan and the numbers to call.
Make a list
Include emergency phone numbers such as 911, the local fire department, poison control and rescue and animal services. Keep it in a place where you can find it fast – like on the refrigerator door.
Create a go kit
Pack a sturdy, easy to carry container, such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels and keep it in an accessible place. Include items such as water, food, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, wrench, manual can opener, maps and a cell phone. Go to www.ready.gov/kit for informative details and helpful hints.
Know the location of and how to shut off main valves for gas, oil, water and electrical. Put tags on these valves so you can find them quickly when you need to turn off the utility. If your home has suffered damage and you believe that any of your utility wiring or piping has been compromised, consult a professional prior to turning them on again.
Have food and water ready
Store three days’ worth of nonperishable food for each family member. Canned food, peanut butter and energy bars are all good choices. Don’t forget the opener! Provide a gallon of water daily per person.
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