How to Prepare for Home Emergencies

by Ed Mitchell on February 14, 2012

Preparing for Emergencies

Question: I know I can’t always prevent emergencies, but what can I do to help prepare for an emergency if one was to occur?

 Answer: Although you can never truly predict when disasters or emergencies will come, there are some things you can do to help prepare you and your family for emergency situations. The following includes a list of things you can do:

  • Make sure each member of family/household knows where the main water shutoff valve, electrical box, and air conditioning/heating unit controls are located.
  • Designate two emergency evacuation routes from each room, and decide on a meeting location for the family – inside and outside – just in case you are unable to return home.
  • Decide on the safest room in the home to meet based on the type of disaster.
  • Install smoke alarms on each level of the home. The batteries should be reviewed once a year.
  • Place important documents such as birth certificates, insurance papers, titles, etc. within a single folder so you can access it easily when needed.
  • Stock up one gallon of water per person per day in a plastic container.
  • You should have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods including: canned goods, dried foods, energy bars, and any other foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration.
  • Create first aid kits that you can keep in your home and your car.
  • It is always useful to own a battery-operated radio, flashlight, and always have extra sets of batteries. Other items that are good to have on hand are duct tape, manual can opener, knife, and matches.
  • Make sure you have an emergency stash of cash.
  • For your pets, prepare their food and water in advance as well.
  • If you have to leave quickly, be sure to have a spare set of house and car keys in close proximity of an exit.


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