We all like to imagine we would remain calm and handle ourselves appropriately in the case of an emergency, but there’s really no way of knowing. And to be perfectly blunt, most of us would probably panic. But don’t start panicking just yet! There’s a lot we can do to prepare for emergencies to make sure we come out of them ok. Here are six things you can do to make sure you’re ready for anything.
HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN
These can be very simple but very important. Basically, everyone needs to know how to exit the house as quickly as possible, as safely as possible, and where they should all meet once they’re out of the house. You should even run a couple tests or rehearsals every year to make sure everyone remembers the plan.
KEEP AN EMERGENCY KIT
Everyone should have an emergency kit in their home and everyone in that home should know where it is. The most basic emergency kits should include water and non-perishable food (at least three days worth), a battery-powered or hand crank radio, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. It also couldn’t hurt to include some tools, a map or two, and cleaning and storage supplies.
KNOW HOW TO TURN OFF YOUR UTILITIES
If a disaster of some kind hits, there’s always a chance of secondary emergencies due to flooding, gas leaks, or exposed wiring. So make sure you know how to turn off the main gas line, electricity, and water. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is survive a disaster only to have something terrible happen afterward because you weren’t careful or prepared.
TAKE AN INVENTORY OF YOUR PROPERTY
Disasters can happen in an instant, but the effects of them can last for years. Whether it’s just replacing important items or rebuilding your home entirely, you should keep a proper inventory of everything you have. Even go as far as to take photos or video of everything and keep it in a safe place so you have evidence of all your belongings in the event that things get destroyed.
GET THE PROPER INSURANCE
You can get insurance to cover all kinds of natural disasters. So make sure you do! And be thorough. Make sure you’re accounting for your home, your vehicles, and make sure they’re all properly valued. It’s even recommended that you get an insurance check-up once a year to make sure everything’s accounted for.
KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE YEAR ROUND
You should be practicing home safety all of the time, regardless of whether or not there is an emergency. Make sure you have enough smoke detectors throughout the house and that they are working, keep heavier stuff closer to the ground, and keep anything flammable or combustible at least 50 feet away from your home.