September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, so have you thought about what you would do to protect yourself and your family in the case of an emergency? We’re not even talking about a major disaster situation like a tornado, hurricane or earthquake. What if the power just suddenly goes out? It happened this summer in New York City, and thankfully in that situation, electricity was restored within several hours. But the sobering reality is that the utilities and conveniences that we all take for granted could be disrupted at any time by any number of factors, from inclement weather to terrorism to simple failures of equipment on the power grid. For these reasons, we strongly recommend that every individual and family have an emergency preparedness plan, regardless of where you live. There are common elements that should be a part of every plan, and below we’ll help you get moving in the right direction.
1️⃣ EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
You should be thinking about the essentials for survival starting with water, food, shelter and heat. A simple online search will reveal hundreds of options for prefabricated emergency kits if you don’t want to go through the challenge of developing your own list and hunting down each item. Just make sure you’re doing good math for your water and calorie needs: think about 3 gallons of water and 2,000 calories per day per person as a basic goal. Also it’s a great idea to create a “go-bag” for each person in the household with essentials like clothing, hygiene supplies, and a checklist for each person’s unique needs (such as medications or comfort items like your little one’s favorite blanket). That way if you need to get out of the house for some reason, or even if the lights just go out, you won’t be reacting to the situation – since you’ve already taken the time to make a plan, you’ll be proactively prepared for it.
2️⃣ EVACUATION PLANS
This includes your primary and alternate locations for evacuation, as well as primary and alternate routes to get to each place. Remember that the main roads will probably be packed full of panicky people, and all it would take is a few disabled vehicles to snarl traffic for miles and strand you in place wasting precious fuel as you idle. If you have storage space available, consider buying some extra fuel cans to keep on hand to extend your vehicle’s range so that you won’t have to rely on gas stations on the way – if there’s a real disaster, gas stations will run out of fuel fast.
3️⃣ EMERGENCY SAVINGS
What will you do if you’re unable to work for a day, a week or even a month or more? If you don’t have any savings, then start small by setting a goal of saving $1,000 to cover ordinary emergencies that occur in everyday life, like a vehicle breakdown. This may sound like an impossible feat if you’re on a tight budget, but try a rounding-up savings app which will automatically save the pennies from each of your transactions into an account. You’ll be surprised at how quickly pennies add up! Over time, you can grow this little nest egg into a more robust savings account that will help you continue to pay your bills if an extended disaster situation strikes your home.
At the very least, talk through your emergency preparedness plan with your family so that in the case of a power outage, evacuation or other situation then each person knows what to expect. This kind of conversation can be as simple as a casual discussion after a family meal. Don’t worry about freaking out your kids – remember doing fire drills when you were young? They will follow your lead, and when they see your calm and confidence, it will probably make them sleep even easier knowing that you’re going to protect them and know what to do. Show your family members where all of the emergency supplies are located – it’s best to keep them visible and accessible in a location that makes sense for your living space – and that way if you’re not home for some reason when the emergency happens, they’ll know exactly what to do.
Here at AdvantaClean we’re committed to helping households prepare for and respond to emergency scenarios, so if you find yourself facing any sort of water damage or other situation in your home, give us a call today. Our locally-owned franchises been serving families across the nation since 1994, and we love helping our neighbors to live in a safe and healthy environment.
More info? For information on disaster preparation, read: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN NATURAL DISASTERS STRIKE
Call 877-957-5670 to schedule an appointment with an AdvantaClean water damage specialist today!