Purrfect Properties Blog

Home Preparedness – Is Your Home Ready for a Natural Disaster?

The American Red Cross Society is always offering up helpful information on what to do with your home in a state of emergency.  I find more useful information in prevention.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  While accidents happen, there is no better time than the present to start preparing your life for the just in case scenario. Whether you have just moved into a new home or are looking to reduce your risks in your current home, here are some tips to help make your investment money more safe.

Create fire escape plans and meeting places

child filing out fire escape plan Red Cross new home checklist

The official Red Cross tip is to have two ways out of your home and set two meeting places: outside your home (to connect after something like a fire) and outside your neighborhood if the area is blocked in an emergency.

My new house has three ways out on the first floor (I’m an overachiever) and an escape ladder stored upstairs in our bedroom.

Families should also think about what special circumstances your family may have, like pets or kids. For instance, if we’re stuck upstairs in a fire, it’s my job to grab the baby from the nursery while my husband quickly installs the ladder on our bedroom window.

Create your survival kit

My family used up our emergency water stores before we moved, so I’ve been buying one huge water jug with every grocery shopping trip and stockpiling them in the garage. This method is a welcome upgrade from tucking water gallons in the back corners of my kitchen cupboards or stuffing them beside my dryer. You get very creative living in a small apartment, my friend.

Check out the video above for some other ideas of items to collect, should your family face an emergency.

Identify your severe weather shelter

feet going down stairs Red Cross new home checklist

Living in apartments for most of my adult life, I’ve never had the luxury of a basement for shelter during severe weather. My new place has a small bathroom in the middle of the ground floor that we’ve agreed is the safest spot.

If you don’t have an underground shelter or basement, you should identify an interior spot (i.e. not right by an outside wall, away from windows) on the lowest floor of your home.

Update your app alert locations

Emergency App Location Monitoring Screenshots Red Cross new home checklist

 

If you have our Emergency App downloaded, update your severe weather alert preferences, including the locations you want to monitor and types of disasters. You can also see if your local emergency management professionals have local notification systems, like text message alerts, for additional safety updates in your area.

And if you download the app for the first time, here’s a handy guide to setting up those alerts.

Assess Your Fire Risks

child hand reaching for lighter Red Cross new home checklist

Finally, keep fire prevention in mind as you’re unpacking. For instance, keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters. Make sure wiring is not run under rugs. And although it may be tempting, avoid overloading outlets or extension cords. For easy reference, here’s an awesome list of things to check in your home as you’re setting up.

Upon moving into our new place, I noticed the smoke alarms throughout the house looked a bit dated, considering they were an impressive yellow color. The landlord couldn’t confirm how long they’d been there but assured us they were in working condition. Knowing smoke alarms have to be replaced every ten years, we went out and bought new smoke alarms and installed them ourselves. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Totally.

Find a ton of more info on preventing home fires on the American Red Cross Website and an awesome collection of disaster prep info in our Emergency App

and the American Red Cross on January 26, 2017.

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