Disaster! Sometimes you can see it coming; other times you can’t be sure. Hopefully it will never happen to you, your friends, or your family, but if it does, ensuring your home can handle the brunt of it will pay off. With a few simple preparations and investments in tools and supplies, you can be ready for anything that nature or the world throws at you. Here’s how to prepare your home for a natural or other disaster.
Be Sure To Have a Water Supply
During a disaster, clean water can be difficult to acquire. Have at least a two-week supply of water handy so that each person in your household gets a gallon a day for preparing food, drinking, and cleaning. Bottled water works, whether you buy it in gallons or individual bottles, but you can also purchase an industrial plastic drum that permits the storage of food and water. If you fill the drum from the faucet, be sure to replace the water every six months to ensure potability.
Have Backup Power
When you’re figuring out how to prepare your home for a natural or other disaster, don’t forget the need for power. Some folks go off the grid and live in the wild, setting up their homes or cabins with a solar-, wind-, or water-powered array that keeps a bank of batteries charged and ready for use. If you have the means to provide your own power, go for it, but otherwise, you can arrange a simpler setup, remaining on the grid but having the option to draw your own power in an emergency. Backup generators that run on gas or kerosene are options, but you’ll only have electricity for as long as you have fuel, so plan accordingly.
Make a Bug-Out Bag
With luck, you’ll be able to wait out any disaster in your own home, but on the off chance you have to evacuate, keep a bug-out bag stored and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Sites such as RedCross.org and Ready.gov offer suggestions on constructing your kit, but at the bare minimum, you’ll need to stock a large duffel bag with a three-day supply of food and water, a means of warmth, a tent, first aid supplies, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, any necessary medications, a 10-in-one tool, and other necessities.
Batten Down the Hatches
Take stock of your home’s storm-readiness long before the first drops of rain start to fall. Secure your doors and windows to ensure they can’t easily break away and fly off. Keep trees and bushes trimmed to reduce the likelihood of falling branches. Be sure nothing can fall on your power lines or interfere with other utilities. Find the safest space in the house to wait out a storm, and prep it in advance for that possibility. Finally, establish an emergency plan with your family regarding communication and where to meet in case you get separated.
With hope, you’ll never see the need to implement any of these tips in a real emergency, but it’s always better to be ready. Outfit your home with these techniques to ensure you and the ones you love can enter a disaster situation prepared and exit it in good safety and health.