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Emergency Preparedness for Your Home: 5 Tips for Improvement

March 16, 2015 @ 3:47 pm

Emergencies can strike at any moment, and it pays to make sure your family and your home is prepared. Having a plan in advance will help you mitigate the damage and make sure everyone is safe no matter what comes your way.

1. Have An Escape Plan

Emergency preparedness begins with open conversation. Sit down with your family and talk about how to get out of the house safely during a fire or flood.  You should know all the exits to your home, including doors and windows. If you have children, talk with your kids about staying low to the ground for fires, being aware of flood waters, and how to contact emergency services in the wake of either catastrophe. Make sure they understand that breaking a window or cutting a screen to get out are acceptable in an emergency situation.

2. Have an Emergency Contact

Give a trusted friend or family member important information for safe keeping, such as a list of medications for everyone in the family, insurance policy numbers, and other crucial documents that could be lost or damaged. If you have children, you should also find at least one person, such as a grandparent, neighbor, or close family friend who can agree to watch your children in the event of an emergency. That way, if you are injured or busy dealing with the aftermath of the emergency, you know they will be safe and cared for.

3. Know What You Have

Documenting your possessions is the best way to ensure that your insurance will cover everything in the event of an emergency. Take photos of your property. Keep an inventory of the items you have in your home and their worth. Make sure you keep this important information in a safety deposit or with a trusted contact so it will not be lost or damaged by fire or water.

4. Keep Calm in Case of Fire

There are a number of ways to prevent and prepare for a fire in your home. The first step is to make sure your smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries. Early warning is your best tool. You should also keep at least one fire extinguisher, and ideally one for every floor of the house. Make sure everyone knows where it is kept and how to use it. Sleep with the doors closed to make it harder for fire to spread, and be sure to keep any flammable materials away from heat sources.

In the event of a fire, make sure everyone knows to escape the house quickly and safely. Fires can spread extremely quickly, and if a house fire blazes out of control, there is no time to collect valuables on your way out.

5. Prepare for a Flood

We often think of floods as gradual events, but flash floods are especially dangerous and common in Las Vegas.  Water levels rise drastically within a matter of minutes during a flash flood  It is important to be prepared. If you live on a flood plane or an area near Las Vegas’s wash draining system, it is a good idea to keep track of local emergency broadcast reports.  Make sure that everyone in the family knows to avoid any water six inches or deeper since this amounts is enough to sweep you off your feet.

In addition, learn how to turn off the utilities in your house.  There are different disengage procedures for natural gas meter configurations, so check with your local gas company to find out how to turn it off.  You may have to use the outside main valve.  Find the water line that enters your home and label it with a tag, then make sure everyone in your family knows about it.  If a pipe bursts, turning off the water is one of the first actions you can take to mitigate flooding inside the house.  Lastly, locate your electrical box- it is best to turn off the individual circuits then the main circuit.  But in a crisis situation like fast-burning fire or flash flood, do not hesitate to turn off utilities…just get out of the house as fast as you can.

Preparation is the key to safety in the event of a house fire or flooded home.  Talk to your family.   Have a plan in place.  Reach out to a trusted neighbor or family member to help by watching your kids or keeping copies of your important documents.  In the event that your house has been damaged by fire, smoke and water, call Trademark Restoration Services for emergency clean up at 702-749-9999.  We work tirelessly round the clock to minimize any loss to your home and property.

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