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Disasters are inevitable—at some point in our lives, almost all of us will experience an earthquake, flood, tornado, snowstorm, or storm. But it is useless to torture yourself with the sick; The best way to protect yourself from any emergency is to have a disaster preparedness plan.
Fire Insurance And Disaster Preparedness Plans For Homeowners
Disaster prevention comes in many forms, from knowing what type of emergency to expect and packing an emergency preparedness kit to preparing your home and knowing how to get back in when the shore is clear. Follow these disaster preparedness experts’ tips for a solid plan of action.
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Each crisis requires slightly different training, supplies and know-how. Find out what natural disasters threaten your city, state and region and plan accordingly. Also check your home insurance policy to make sure you are covered. While most standard plans cover events such as tornadoes, lightning, and winter storms, you will likely need a separate policy for floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
Get notifications on your phone from your service provider or through a free app from FEMA or the Red Cross. Some employers use a service like LiveSafe to relay emergency information to their teams – find out if your company or school uses it, and if so, download the free app.
If you need to leave your home in a hurry, you’ll want to have some essentials packed and ready to go. Store the following items, as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in a portable container or “travel bag” in the part of your home where you will be sheltering.
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We also suggest having smaller versions of your kit stocked with a few essentials such as walking shoes, non-perishable snacks, and a flashlight at work. In general, you’ll also need enough cash for five days for basic needs (gas and food), but any amount of cash will help if the ATMs don’t work.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s a good idea to check them at least once a year to weed out expired food and batteries.
When things get chaotic, you want to make sure every family member knows what to do. We suggest designating two meeting points (one near your home and one a little further from your area) and posting a map of the marked locations next to your emergency kit.
It is also worth writing down important contacts if the power goes out and there is nowhere to charge a mobile phone. Make a mini contact list—ready.gov has templates you can print out—with important numbers that anyone can put in their wallet. Also keep a copy in your emergency kit. Develop a plan to meet with relatives in case the local telephone lines become congested. Text messages often get through, even if the phone lines are congested.
Emergency Management Southland
Keep important documents and hard-to-replace papers sealed in a fireproof safe. If you have pets, be sure to include their veterinary and vaccination records; some veterinarians and kennels won’t accept your furry family without them. Veterans should be sure to include their DD-214 supporting your military service certificate. If your area often gets flooded, place your documents in a zippered bag or also a waterproof container. Our experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute liked the Honeywell 6104 fire-resistant steel safe.
If there is a power outage, and you have time, turn off appliances and electronics, turn off air conditioners, you stay or leave. This will prevent damage when the power is turned on again. Leave one lamp on so you know when the power comes back.
If the water lines are likely to be affected, you’ll also want to fill the tub and turn off the line. Use this H2O for sanitation, such as washing hands and pouring down the toilet to flush water. If there is a risk of flooding and you have time, move valuable or hard-to-replace items such as laptops, antiques, and heirlooms to higher floors so they don’t get flooded.
Our experts also recommend investing in a backup home generator to keep your home running during extended power outages. Check out our ranking of the best generators for the home.
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If you’ll be home for a while, ride out the storm with nutrient-rich, shelf-stable foods recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Nutrition Lab.
According to the USDA Food Information and Safety Service (FSIS), how you store food can make a difference when it comes to disposal. If there is a chance of flooding, be sure to store dry food in watertight containers high enough so that it does not enter contaminated water.
Grouping foods in the freezer can help keep them cold longer in the event of a power outage. If you have advance warning, immediately freeze any food you don’t need, such as leftovers, milk, fresh meat, and poultry, to keep them at a safe temperature longer, and stock as much ice as you can fit in the freezer. Refrigerators with ice can also be useful if the power is off for more than four hours.
While you’ll want to minimize the number of times you open and close your refrigerator door after a power outage, FSIS recommends keeping a thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if food is safe to eat. The refrigerator temperature must be below 40° Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature must be below 0° Fahrenheit.
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Coming home after a major disaster can be daunting. Don’t let your family rush back to your home without taking these precautions.
From 2014 to 2020, where she researched, wrote, and reported on original content for the Good Housekeeping Institute and several other departments, including health, travel, and family.
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Disaster Preparedness Poster
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If emergencies arise,
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