If you live in an area prone to harsh weather and hazardous conditions, you may feel more prepared than the majority of homeowners experiencing extreme conditions, from hurricanes to wildfires. And, if Hurricane Ian was any indication of more hazardous weather and destruction to come, homeowners are likely starting to feel the pressure to do all they can to prepare for another event now.
While we do all we can to prepare when we know a storm or wildfire is approaching, wouldn’t it be better to have precautions in place before disaster strikes? We think so, too. Keep reading as we share three common emergency scenarios, and how you can prep your home for them now before it’s too late.
As the responsible homeowner that you are (you are a House Hacks Tips reader, afterall!), you likely already know the basics about fire safety and prevention. From cleaning out your dryer vents, to checking your smoke alarm batteries twice a year, keeping up with regular home maintenance alone can mitigate the risk of a fire.
However, there are a few lesser-known hacks that could very well be the differentiator between whether or not your home is left standing after the flames have been put out. To start, make sure the numbers on your home are easily legible from the street, even at night. That way, fire safety and rescue teams won’t have trouble finding you in an emergency.
Additionally, be sure that any flammable items (blankets, furniture etc.) are kept at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters. And, finally, a large majority of house fires start due to poorly maintained furnaces or stoves. Take some time this weekend to inspect your home heating sources to be sure they’re both clean and in working order.
If you live by the ocean, or an area frequented by flash flooding, rain, and hurricanes, you’re likely familiar with the basic precautions to take if a flood warning arises. However, did you know there are tasks you can complete now to prepare your home in case you do become a victim of a natural flooding disaster?
As a first investment, we recommend purchasing and installing a sump pump, especially one that can either be battery powered or hook up to a generator in the case of a power outage. It’s also not a bad idea to bring in a licensed electrician to raise outlets, circuit breakers, and wiring at least 12″ above your home’s projected flood elevation. This will not only prevent electrical fires or shocks if there is a flood, but will also protect expensive components from water damage.
And speaking of power outages…
When it comes to natural disasters and emergency situations, power outages typically come with the territory. That’s why it’s always important to have a kit ready and accessible (yes, even in the dark) if your power does go out.
Our recommendations for a power outage kit for homeowners includes:
- Flashlights and batteries (we advise staying away from candles if you can, as these can increase the risk of fire).
- A first aid kit
- Bottled water and protein bars or snacks
- A battery-operated radio
- Cordless or battery operated phone charger
- Hand sanitizer
- Canned food and non-perishable items
While every homeowner power outage kit will vary, the most important thing is the kit leaves you feeling prepared and ready in the case of an emergency.
Remember, regardless of where you live, a natural disaster can strike at random. By prepping your home for common emergencies in advance, you’ll put yourself at an advantage while protecting the home you love.