Tips To Help Homeowners Prepare for a Natural Disaster
Know What to do When Extreme Acts of Nature Occur
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By Paisley Hansen — A natural disaster can strike at any moment. Not all disasters give homeowners enough warning to prepare for the event. This is why it is important for homeowners to take steps to prepare their homes in the event of any disaster. The more prepared you are, the better able you will be to take care of your family and your home until things get back to normal. Below are some tips homeowners can use to prepare for a natural disaster in advance.
Create A Basic Storm Kit
The most important tip for homeowners who are looking to prepare for natural disasters is to create a basic storm kit or a bug out bag. This should contain enough items to help sustain you and your family for at least 48 hours with no electricity or basic services. The kit should include things such as blankets, batteries, garbage bags, water supply, and a couple of days worth of food. Solar-powered lanterns are a great option to include in your storm kit because they do not require any batteries to work.
Gas For Generators
First off, be sure you have the correct size generator for your farm. A typical 5,500-watt generator can run for at least eight hours using five gallons of gas. If you know a natural disaster is imminent, be sure you have enough gas to last for an extended power outage. It is also critical to run your generator shorter time periods until you know when you might be getting electricity back.
Review Evacuation Plans
Homeowners should prepare in advance with their families and create an emergency preparedness plan to follow. Have at least two locations planned to go to for safety during an emergency situation. Try to designate one safe location out of town with a friend or family member. Be sure they have a list of your emergency contacts saved for you.
Locate Gas, Water, and Electricity Shut Off Valves
When you first move into a new home, one of the first things you should do is memorize where the shut-off valves are located for your gas, water, and electricity. When a natural disaster is forecasted, refreshing your memory where each of these is located should be a priority. For your gas, wait until local officials tell you to turn it off.
Prepare Doors, Windows, and Garage Doors
This tip is especially useful for those who live in areas prone to hurricanes. It is best to plan in advance to prepare your home for windy conditions from hurricanes using shutters. Before the storm hits, brace all doors and be sure your garage door has been secured shut. Also, be sure to remove any loose furniture from outside and place it in your garage before you secure the door.
Unplug Your Electrical Appliances When Power Is Lost
If the electricity to your home is cut off during a natural disaster, unplug your electrical appliances until the power has been restored. In some cases, when power is restored after a natural disaster it can cause a power surge. A strong power surge into your home can damage appliances that are still plugged in. You don’t want to lose all of your appliances because of electrical damage. You can possibly save yourself thousands of dollars by simply unplugging your appliances beforehand.
Don’t Forget About Your Livestock
During a natural disaster, it is important to create a plan for your livestock as well. Natural disasters often occur when we least expect it. A quality livestock plan might include how to wrangle your livestock to secure their safety, as well as constructing a sturdy shelter to help protect them. A good plan for your animals can provide the necessary defense against the elements.
Gather Insurance Information
If your home sustains damage during a natural disaster, you will want to have your insurance documents handy. If a natural disaster has been forecasted, gather all of your important papers and insurance documents and put them in your storm kit. You will need to find them in order to submit proof of claim and receive assistance.
Have A Pet Plan
For homeowners who have pets, they’re part of the family as well. It is important to have a plan for your pets during a natural disaster as well. Be sure you locate emergency shelters that accept pets before the storm hits. Consider having your pets microchipped to locate them easier if they get lost during a natural disaster.
In conclusion, knowing beforehand what to do when a natural disaster hits is pivotal. It can ultimately save lives, and also give you additional reassurance that your home will be okay in case of a disaster. Now is the time to implement these plans, and prepare your home. In the event of a natural disaster, you will surely be glad that you made these extra precautions to protect yourself and those you care about.
Originally published in Countryside and Small Stock Journal in 2019 and regularly vetted for accuracy.