Remember the old adage, “failure to prepare is preparing to fail”? It’s often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while he almost certainly wasn’t talking about an emergency preparedness plan or protecting your home, it still definitely applies! And since September is National Preparedness Month, we want to take this time to run through a few basic tips to make sure your home and family are prepared should the unthinkable occur.
Have an Action Plan
The first thing to understand about an emergency preparedness plan is to educate yourself on exactly what you need to be ready for. Depending on your geographical location, you may be more susceptible to specific types of disasters. Emergencies and natural disasters that could pose a threat to you and your home might include:
If you’ve recently moved, be sure to educate yourself on the potential risks of your living area. Additionally, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how your state or local leadership communicates. Ensure you efficiently receive any emergency alerts and warnings. From there, you can begin to craft a plan that specifically fits the needs of your household. Consider any specific medical needs of home members and possible evacuation routes. Ensure everyone in your family has a clear understanding of your specific action plan.
Weatherproof Your Home
Once you have a better idea of what potential emergencies could occur, it’s a lot easier to prepare your home ahead of time. Believe it or not, generally weatherproofing your home can help protect it against potential damage caused from extreme weather. Not to mention it significantly cuts down your energy costs!
One easy, common solution is to simply properly insulate your home. Strong insulation not only keeps your home warmer during winter months, but will also ensure your air conditioning is working efficiently during Summer months and dangerous heat waves. While insulation usually refers to more susceptible areas like attics and basements, you’ll also want to check the security of your windows and doors. Look for weak areas that may let air drafts in or allow leaks that could cause flood damage in a major storm later on. Additionally, install storm doors and windows for better year-round protection from high winds caused by hurricanes and tornadoes, or the physical damage from a hailstorm.
Flood Monitoring Systems
Any storm with a high volume of rain can cause the risk of flooding. Especially if you live in a coastal area or near a water source like a river or lake. In those cases, it’s best to prepare your home for the worst with as much weatherproofing as you can implement while monitoring potential storms and local emergency communications for severity and evacuation potential.
In the event of a severe winter storm, you also run the risk of home flooding through something like a burst pipe or malfunctioning water heater. You can help prevent damage before it even starts. But how does it work? Water sensors can be installed along your plumbing or near risky appliances. If water is detected, a warning signal can be sent to you so you know to take action. Additionally, Flood Avert systems can also be installed to physically shut off your water source at the first sign of flooding and damage.
Monitored Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Wildfires have become a major threat in recent years, particularly along the west coast. Like other regional natural disasters, it’s important to stay informed of potential threats or risky storm seasons. Be aware of exactly how you’re receiving emergency information, and be sure you’re in touch with your community’s warning system, if available. Have a fast action plan in place should you need to evacuate quickly, and have N95 masks handy to help protect you from harmful particles in the air.
Beyond that, no matter where you live, protect your home with . While most homes and businesses utilize some form of battery-powered smoke alarms and CO detectors, monitored systems can add that extra layer of protection. Time is a precious resource during an emergency, especially fires. Should you be away from your home or business, or even incapacitated because of a fire, there’s little a beeping alarm will actually do to help you. A monitored system not only detects the danger and attempts to contact you, but takes the next step to dispatch first responders. Those precious minutes could be the difference between life and death.
Prepare an Emergency “Kit”
One universal rule for any emergency preparedness checklist is to simply be ready for anything. Part of being prepared is not just thinking about protecting yourself and your family in the moment, but what could potentially happen after a natural disaster or emergency. In some instances, you may need to survive without first responder support for an extended period of time. It never hurts to have a basic emergency supply kit, and it’s something you can build yourself.
Some basic items to include in an emergency kit:
- Water (one gallon per person per day, drinking and sanitation – three day supply)
- Three-days supply of non-perishable food
- Standard first aid kit
- N95 or other dust protection masks
- Flashlight and radio (preferably hand-cranked, be sure to have spare batteries otherwise!)
- Signal whistle
- Multi-use tools (pliers, wrench, pocket knife, etc.)
- Plastic bags and duct tape for sheltering in place
Consolidate your emergency kit into one or two bags or containers for easy access in the event of a fast evacuation. And be sure to check out FEMA’s full suggested supply kit list here.
For More Security and Home Automation Tips and Solutions, Stick with ACS Security
It’s not always easy to plan ahead, but it can truly be the difference between life and death. Beyond home security and protection from damage caused by emergencies and natural disasters, being prepared can provide the annual peace of mind of knowing you’re ready should the need for action arise.
And if you’re looking for more ways to keep yourself and your family safe, check out our home security and automation services at ACS Security. We offer a wide range of home security options to protect you and your family. If you’re ready to discuss our custom solutions, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you prepare for what’s next.