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Summer Fun Comes with its Risks - Unless You're Prepared

posted Jul 23, 2016, 9:15 AM by Margo Duesterhaus

Tips for Making Your Home Emergency-ready

by Sean Morris

Making your home emergency-ready might seem like a waste of time; after all, how likely is it that disaster will strike? No matter the odds, preparing your home and your family for worst-case scenarios offers peace of mind knowing that you’re ready to handle whatever comes your way. Here are a few essential emergency-preparedness tips for every homeowner.

Arm Yourself with Backup Lighting

Emergencies are often accompanied by power outages. You might think that you know the layout of your home well enough to navigate in the dark, but it’s much more difficult than many people realize in the heat of the moment.

Always be prepared with battery-powered lighting such as flashlights and lanterns. Periodically check and replace the batteries as needed so that your emergency lighting is ready to go all year long. It’s also a good idea to use rechargeable batteries and store extra in a nearby and easily accessible location. You can even opt for crank-style flashlights so you’ll never have to worry about dead batteries!

Maintain Smoke Alarms and Keep Fire Extinguishers at the Ready 

Keep a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home, along with an extra extinguisher in the kitchen. Fires can start in any area of your home, and the few minutes it may take to retrieve a fire extinguisher from another floor can mean the difference between a near-emergency and an out-of-control, whole-house fire.

Additionally, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are must-haves on each floor of your home, as well as near every bedroom. This helps to ensure that every member of your family will be awoken by the alarm should disaster strike, allowing you more time to get your loved ones to safety.

Keep First Aid Kits on Hand

When emergencies happen, injuries are also likely. That’s why a first aid kit is an emergency essential for every home. You can build a custom first aid kit that also includes things like medications, incontinence products, or any other items particular to your family’s needs.

Knowing some basic first aid techniques can truly be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency. CPR and basic first aid classes are often held in hospitals and community health clinics in practically every city and town across the U.S. throughout the year, and it only takes a few classes to get certified.

Be Prepared for Flooding with Sump Pump and Water Alarms

Flooding is one of those emergencies that can happen anywhere, and there are a few ways to prepare your home for flood emergencies, as well. For instance, water alarms can alert you to leaks, allowing you to rectify the problem before it becomes a true emergency. Shutoff valves for both your washer and your hot water heater are also essential for minimizing water damage.

Having a sump pump on-hand is also another good idea. Even if your area doesn’t see a lot of rain, earthquakes and strong winds can cause damage that could lead to flooding.

Protect Your Roof from Damage from Falling Trees and Limbs

If your home has surrounding trees, it’s crucial to have a tree care specialist inspect your property periodically. Trees with long limbs overhanging your roof can spell disaster in harsh winds. Tree specialists can identify these potential problems and trim your trees to eliminate the risk of heavy branches causing substantial damage to your home during storms.

Additionally, you can enlist a roofing professional to inspect your roof. These experts can point out areas requiring repair, or they may recommend a full roof replacement. Keeping your roof in good repair reduces the odds of leaks that result in costly damage to your property.

In the midst of an emergency, it’s difficult to think clearly. Preparing your home for possible emergencies before they happen means that you can focus on keeping your loved ones safe should disaster strike, instead of working anxiously to minimize damage that could have been prevented in advance.

 Images via Pixabay by pixeltweaks

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.