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Safety and Home Security Tips for Extreme Weather

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March 09, 2012
By Stephanie Zaharuk

The weather on the East Coast has been very strange lately. We’ve had an earthquake, tornados, hurricanes, snow storms and flooding in the past 12 months, so it is time we’ve started planning for the inevitable.

Like the Boy Scouts always say, the key to surviving any catastrophe is to “be prepared”.  When a natural disaster strikes, you don’t have time to run to the store and start stocking up on supplies. You need to feel confident that you are ready for the unexpected, in case you are stuck at home with no power or if you have to evacuate immediately.

General Survival Tips:

  • Always have a full tank of gas in your car, especially in the winter, and when big storms, or fires are a threat. You want to be able to jump in your car and evacuate in a moment’s notice.
  • Have a 1-2 week supply of non-perishable ready-to-eat food in your home. Don’t assume you can cook ingredients because it is possible the electricity and gas could go out out, and it could rain which rules out using the barbecue grill.
  • Make sure you have battery-powered flashlights and a radio, and plenty of extra batteries. If you have young children, get glow sticks which can provide a safe source of light and make the experience less scary for children.
  • If anyone in your home needs medicine, always have at least a 2 week supply on hand.
  • Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure you have enough food and medicine for them too.

Since evacuation is always a possibility, have these supplies in bags so you can quickly grab them in an emergency. I also like to keep a spare change of clothes and some blankets in my car at all times, for emergencies. Don’t forget to arm your alarm system in case you are away for an extended period of time.

Since extreme weather can take anyone by surprise, you should also be prepared to for specific types of emergency situations, even if they do not frequently occur in your part of the country:

Hurricanes and Tornados– Flying items can cause damage and hurt people, so bring all outdoor items, such as furniture, BBQ grills and bicycles, indoors. Make sure everything else is tied down. If you have don’t have storm shutters or plywood, cover any windows for protection, or put duct tape across them to prevent injuries if they are broken.

Flooding – Store all sentimental that can be damaged, such as photo albums, in waterproof bins, and on an upper level of your home or in the attic. If your house is at the bottom of a hill, park at the top when flooding is expected so your car won’t be submerged under water.

Earthquakes – Make sure you securely fasten all pictures and bookcases to the wall. Practice earthquake drills so your loved ones know not to stand near a window or in an area of danger. If an earthquake does occur, have a plan with your family, including a safe outdoor place for everyone to meet.

If you practice safety routines, use your security systems and plans, and keep an eye on the weather, you should be able to stay safe even in the face of Mother Nature’s wrath.

 

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