You never know when disaster might strike your area. Even if you live in an area with relatively low threats, your home may still catch on fire, or there might be excessive rain that causes flooding. It is incredibly important to prepare for an emergency so that when the emergency arises, you can move forward with confidence and not get crushed by the panic of not being prepared. Creating a disaster plan for your home can help protect you and your loved ones in time of crisis.
Create 72 Hour Kits
72-hour kits are kits that have all the essentials needed for 72 hours, which include food, water, clothing, and toiletries. 72-hour kits need to be updated regularly and you need to have one for every member of your family so that everyone is taken care of in case of an emergency. For example, if you create a 72-hour kit but don’t need it until five years later, the food may not be good, the clothes might be too small, and the toiletries might have expired. You want to cycle through the materials in your 72-hour kit so that they are usable when a disaster strikes.
Have an Escape Plan
You also want to create an escape plan for your family. For example, in the event of a fire, you want a fire escape route for every single person in your home and a meeting point that’s a safe distance from the house where all of you are to meet up. You will also want to have an emergency contact where you could go if your house were compromised. This may be having established arrangements with a relative who lives an hour away from your family. Besides creating an escape plan, you also want to make sure that you practice it with every member of your family on a regular basis. Keeping the escape plan fresh will help them remember during a time of crisis.
Keep Bug Out Packs
If you know your family may be in danger of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or a wildfire, but you haven’t yet been told to evacuate, it is a good idea to keep bags ready in case you need to flee at a moment’s notice. These packs are like 72-hour kits, but they contain other important things instead of just necessities. This may include passports and social security cards, an emergency stash of cash, your laptop and other necessary electronics, and your wallet. You want to keep these “bug out” bags in easy reach so that if you are asked to leave your home, you have everything you need.
Invest in a Generator
Other disasters may not require you to leave your home. For example, in the event of a blackout, your house isn’t in immediate danger, so you don’t have to leave it, but it may not be the most comfortable place to stay at if all the electricity is gone. For this reason, it is important to invest in a generator. There are many kinds of generators, from portable ones to large whole home standby generators which run on different fuels, from propane to natural gas. You will need to purchase the fuel as well, but fuel can be very economical. For example, propane tanks come in a variety of sizes, so find the one that fits your needs. Having a generator will give you and your family peace of mind that in the event of a power outage, you will still have power for the necessary appliances and lights.
Create an Emergency Fund
As part of your disaster plan, you should create an emergency fund that is easily accessible during an emergency. This fund should be at least three times the amount of your monthly expenses so that you have a bit of a cushion to fall on if you cannot pay your expenses due to an emergency such as the loss of a job, or an unexpected move. Part of your emergency fund should be a cash reserve in case you cannot access the bank or the electricity to your online bank account for a while.
Purchase Homeowners’ Insurance
You also want to protect your belongings. You won’t be able to bring everything with you if you have to leave unexpectedly in the middle of the night, and if your house catches on fire or is struck by a flood, you won’t be able to save everything. For this reason, it’s important to purchase homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners’ insurance protects your home and your belongings from damage. It is a reassurance that your home (which is a big investment) will be protected in the event of an emergency.
Create a Support Network
It is also important to create a support network around you for times of disaster. This support network should be utilized not just in times of disaster, but it should be in place so that if a disaster were to strike, you and your family would have somewhere to turn. This could be, as mentioned earlier, a relative who lives close by whose house you can crash at. This could also be a coworker or a close family friend who reaches out to you and helps you and your family in any way that you need during an emergency.
Know Which Disasters to Plan For
Depending on where you live, you won’t need to plan for all disasters. If you live in the Seattle area, for example, you probably won’t have to worry about tornadoes, but will have to worry about flooding. If you live in the Midwest, however, you will have to worry about tornadoes. You can’t plan for every emergency, but you can create a plan for the specific disasters of your area.
Emergency preparedness means that you and your family should be prepared for whatever disasters may strike. Creating a plan involves many steps, but the reassurance and confidence that comes from having one makes it worth it.
Read this next: Flood Recovery Tips to Get You Back on Your Feet
Interested in Publishing on The Home Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!