Disasters are inevitable. And while it’s unpleasant to think about them, making preparations will help you feel more confident that you have the tools, skills, and understanding to protect yourself and your family when an emergency strikes. In recognition of National Preparedness Month, your home comfort specialist’s at Main Stream Mechanical share five tips to help you prepare for when disaster lands in your backyard.
1. Sign up for alerts.
Receiving emergency notifications on your phone or via a free app from FEMA, Ready.gov or your local emergency management office keeps you up-to-date on the status and impact of threatening events in your area. In addition, these notifications disseminate instructions to help you and your family stay safe.
2. Pack a disaster supply kit.
Setting aside household essentials will help you and your family survive on your own, either at home or an emergency shelter, for several days. A basic kit should contain:
Three days worth of non-pershiable food and water (at least one gallon per family member)
Battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries for each
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust masks to filter out contaminated air
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to help shelter in place
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Matches in a waterproof container
Manual can opener for food
Local and regional maps
Cell phone with chargers and backup batteries
CDC-approved face masks, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes
Personal hygiene products, prescription and non-prescription medications and other specific family needs, such as pet supplies
Copies of important documents, including insurance policies, stored electronically or sealed in a waterproof container
3. Store your kit.
Since you don’t know where you’ll be when a disaster hits, assemble kits for your home, office, and car. All supply kits should be in portable containers or a “go bag” and stored in an easily-accessible area of each location. Be sure all family members know where the home kit is in case anyone needs to leave quickly.
Tip: Be sure canned food is stored in a cool, dry place and boxed food is secured in a tightly closed plastic or metal container.
4. Check your kit.
Once you have your supplies together, it’s important to go through your kit at least once a year to replace expired food and batteries. Be sure to update it with additional supplies to meet the needs of your changing family members.
5. Prep your home.
Depending on the disaster you’re facing, this could mean anything from boarding up windows to bracing things like water heaters and gas appliances, and ensure you can turn off the gas valves. If the power goes out and you have time, unplug appliances and electronics. This will prevent damage when the electricity surges back on.
HVAC and Plumbing Installation, Inspection, Service, and Repair
As your home comfort specialist, we take pride in providing you with industry-leading HVAC equipment and services that keep you comfortable in your home all year long. If you have a heating, cooling, or plumbing need, contact us today. We deliver expertise and uncompromising customer service.
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