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When it comes to household emergencies, we always think it will happen to someone else. We never think it will happen to us. Until it does. During any emergency situation, it’s difficult to think clearly and work out what to do. So thinking about this in advance and having a disaster plan, is essential.

 

A disaster and recovery plan will help you act quickly, and keep your home and family safe.

 

  1. Power Outage

 

During past power outages, we could get through it by lighting candles and waiting it out. But in recent times, the consequences of no electricity are much more severe. Phone systems run off electricity, as does the internet. The consequences could be life threatening if, for example, someone in your home has a medical condition. So it’s important to have an alternative. Backup generators running on propane may be the solution. Propane is a clean gas and will run efficiently. You can find more information on websites such as planbprep.com.

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Acquiring a windup radio may also be useful. Some models have access to weather channels and have built-in phone chargers. Sites like redcrossstore.org have a range of emergency kits that are useful in the event of a disaster.

 

  1. Fire

 

When it comes to fire, there are several things you should do in advance to prevent this from occurring. The first thing is to install a smoke alarm on each floor. You may need more if you have large premises. Once the alarms are installed, don’t just leave it there. Ensure you check them once a month. It’s a good idea to write the date on your calendar or in your diary so that you don’t forget to do this. Batteries should be changed twice a year.

 

Other equipment you should consider are fire extinguishers for the kitchen and garage and also fire blankets. You should learn how to use a fire extinguisher if you don’t know how to do this already. You won’t have time to read instructions during an emergency. Fire blankets can be used to smother the flames of small kitchen fires.

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There are several steps you can take to prevent a fire starting in your home:

 

  • If you smoke, always make sure that cigarettes are extinguished properly
  • Never smoke in bed
  • If you’re cooking, never leave a pan unattended
  • Keep tea towels and flammable materials away from the stove
  • Take care with clothing when you’re cooking
  • Never throw water on a grease fire. Use a pan lid or fire blanket.
  • If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, it should be checked once a year by a qualified professional
  • Hot ashes should be transferred to a metal container. They should be soaked in water and left outside your home
  • Always put fires out before you go to bed and ensure they are never left unattended.
  • Electrical cables should not be placed under rugs and carpets
  • If cables appear damaged, cease using them immediately and replace them.
  • Take care not to overload sockets
  • If you move into an older home, get a qualified electrician to check the wiring.
  • Never leave a candle unattended.
  • Don’t leave flammable items close to a heat source. Eg. That dressing gown on the back of the door could fall onto a lamp.
  • In the event of a fire, get out, call the fire service and stay out.

 

Does your family have an escape route planned? If not you should put this place immediately. Walk through all the escape routes in your home and ensure that everyone is familiar with them. You may wish to consider purchasing a rope ladder, in case you need to exit from an upstairs window.

 

It may seem scary to think about this now. But it will scarier if you don’t have a plan and the worst happens.

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  1. Flood

 

Floods have become more widespread over the last few years. If you live in an area prone to flooding, it is important to have a plan in place.

 

During bad weather, keep up-to-date with local news and weather stations. Follow any emergency advice. Should flooding occur, make sure that you and family know where to go. You may need to exit your home and go to higher ground. Ensure you have an emergency kit. This should contain a first aid kit, cash, flashlight, and batteries.

 

If a flood is likely to happen, move as much of furniture upstairs as possible. Disconnect electrical equipment. If you are instructed to do so, turn off power at the mains switch.

 

Evacuate immediately if you are instructed to do so. Never, walk or drive through flood waters. You could be risking your life. It only takes six inches of water to trip you. And standing water could be electrified by cables beneath the surface. Only return to your home when you have been told it is safe to do so.

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  1. Burglary

 

No-one wants to return home and find that someone has accessed and stolen from their property. Your home is your sanctuary, and a violation of this is traumatic. There are several steps you can take to deter burglars and prevent them from entering.

 

  • The first step is to install a good alarm system with motion detectors at all entry points.
  • Ensure your window and doors are secure enough and can’t easily be kicked down.
  • Don’t alert potential thieves to your home being empty. Avoid posting on social media sites when you go on vacation.
  • Place valuables in a safe and make sure it is nailed down. Portable safes can be removed and opened later.
  • It sounds obvious but lock your windows and doors.
  • Install visible cameras to the interior and exterior of your property.
  • If trees are close to your home, ensure their branches are cut. Don’t make it easy to climb.
  • Install outdoor motion detecting lights.

 

You can’t control all external influences. Sometimes bad things happen, regardless of how well you try to protect against them. But taking precautionary measures reduces the likelihood of certain events occurring. Having a plan in place will save time and protect your family and home in an emergency situation. It could also save lives.

 

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