Home Emergency Plan. Be Prepared In Any Situation.
Why do we need to create a home emergency plan and have a home emergency kit?
It is our home, our nest, where we want to feel safe and keep our families secure, but we tend to put it off for tomorrow and we think none of these things will ever happen to us. Most of us could be right, but preparing your home for the worst can make all the difference when It comes to life or death situations.
Create a home emergency plan today by keeping the below things in mind.
1. Fire Emergencies at Home
There are many different kinds of fire extinguishers and ratings to choose from. Make sure the one you choose has an “ABC” rating which means its good for all common household fires.
We also recommend to keep at least one in the kitchen, garage, basement and each level of your house, if it’s more than one story. This ensures that you will have an extinguisher in all areas that are at most risk of fire.
Your home should have smoke detectors evenly distributed around each level of the home, specifically in each room, including utility rooms, hallways and atop of the stairs.
Nowadays most homes come with pre-installed smoke detectors so whether your home is brand new or if you bought a used home, make sure to inspect and test all smoke detectors often.
With older homes, keep in mind that most smoke detectors have a 10-year life expectancy. It is a good idea to replace these if they are getting close to that 10-year mark.
Here is what you need to think about when buying a smoke detector:
Will it be hardwired with the electrical in your house?
If your home came pre-wired with a system of detectors that will communicate with each other, then when one goes off, all of the detectors in the house will then kick in. This is optimal for any house but specially for bigger or two story homes.
Keep in mind that this would mean unplugging the old unit from the wiring and re-wiring the new one.
So be careful when doing the installation and take necessary precautions to avoid electrocution. You may need to contact an electrician if you need help installing.
What is the location of the unit?
The location of the unit is something to think about, because bedrooms may only need smoke detectors. This is important because hallways or other areas in your home, may require a combination alarm for both smoke and Carbon Monoxide.
Keep reading below to learn more about the CO detectors.
2. Carbon Monoxide or “CO”
Just like the smoke detectors, most homes come with pre-installed carbon monoxide detectors and some may even have both a CO and smoke detector in one.
It is important that you find the detectors, maintain the batteries (if one is required) and test these alarms routinely.
Also, just like smoke alarms, most of these detectors have a 10-year life span. Make sure to replace any units that are older than 10 years.
If that is your case, here is a really good, hardwired, up to date, combination smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector. Some of these don’t even require a battery as they come with a lithium ion battery that lasts up to 10 years.
No more chirping in the middle of the night!!
3. Water Emergencies
Water Shut Off
Identify the water turn off valve for you home and how to shut it off. In an emergency situation, turning the main valve off can save your home from being flooded.
It is also important to make sure you have the necessary tool in order to open and shut the water valve. Some valves can be as easy as just using a plumber’s wrench to open and shut. Others may need a water meter key to even open the water meter before you can get to the valve.
You and members of your household should know how to use the tools, how to locate the water meter and how to open and close it properly.
4. Have A Home Emergency Plan
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
5. Have A Home Emergency Kit
Having a home emergency kit is another essential part of being prepared. Most of these items can be found inexpensively and can someday save your’s or a family member’s life.
When creating your home emergency kit, always keep in mind special needs. Do you have kids, pets or elderly people that live with you? Think of any additional items that they may need in case you are not able to go to the store or need to survive on your own for several days.
Home Emergency Kit Essentials.
- Water – One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food – At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities. – Also, see above under “Water Shut Off” on how to turn your water off.
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
When it comes to our safety and our family’s safety we should always be prepared and not take any chances.
We hope you take home emergency situations very seriously and prepare by following these tips and ensuring you have the essential tools and equipment needed to navigate most emergency situations.
Create a home emergency plan today and share these tips with friends and family. Leave us a comment with your tips to keep your family safe.
Until next time!
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