Free Advice: How to Deal with Being Home-bound in an Emergency

Its true, we love homes.  And what drives this love is our passion for protecting home owners.  We felt we needed to share some free advice that may come in handy in an unexpected situation, extreme weather or disaster. We are fortunate in Colorado that it is very rare that we have such an emergency, still it never hurts to be as prepared as you can.

Please take a few minutes and read this check list to keep you safe and comfortable if you are ever stuck in your home. As a rule of thumb, three days of supplies of the basics should be able to tide you over.

THE PLAN

While it may sound silly, the time you spend now prepping for an emergency can save you distress when and if it happens.  Make some notes – what will you do it you’re stuck at home, what about your family and pets? How will you get news and information? At a minimum, your plan should cover:

-          Making sure your fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors are all in working order

-          Having a basic first-aid kit handy. 

-          A way to keep your family warm enough/cool enough during the emergency

Ask your neighbors and family about their plan too.  Share information and ideas as this could be critical. The most vulnerable are often the ones that will need the most help in an emergency.  If you can, include a plan for checking on neighbors and family.

POWER

Make sure you have batteries that can power your lights and devices.  Think of what you use the most and how you’ll need to keep those things running.  Not only should you have a battery to power your flashlight but invest in a portable battery for your phone.  They are usually inexpensive, easy to get and could come in handy.  Amazon has a few options here. Make sure you have the cables, too.

You should also think about unplugging items in your home. If there is a risk of power surges you might be able to avoid damage by unplugging.

FUEL FOR HUMANS:

The 3-day rule should include your food supply. We know, we’d always prefer fresh food, too, but when that isn’t possible you can still have options that will sustain you in an extreme situation.  A stock of non-perishable items are a must for any pantry. Think peanut butter, crackers, nuts, cereal, granola, dried fruits, canned meats and veggies. And don’t forget your pets.  It’s a good idea to keep a few days food in reserve. Keeping their lives as normal as possible can ease their anxiety too.

You should also keep a small reserve of any required daily medication.  Being caught without this could spell disaster for some.

INFORMATION

Let’s just say your power is out and a giant snow storm is keeping you inside.  How will you get information about the storm and emergency services?  We keep a solar-powered radio charged up for just such an occasion and it has come in handy once or twice.  It might sound crazy, but its there when we need it and that’s all that matters

YOUR HOME

Let’s stick with the snow-storm emergency scenario.  Should the weather keep you stranded in your home, there are a few things you should be mindful of.  First, the air in-take and exhaust vents in your home should be kept clear.  Take a minute now and locate where these might be on your home, so you are more easily able to clear these if they become blocked by a snow drift.  Blockage with either of these could cause a system failure or accumulation of carbon monoxide in your home.  And we know that is not good.

 Keep an eye out on gutters and downspouts, too.  Ice and snow can accumulate and cause damage.   

Being prepared is half the battle when it comes to emergency.  And, while we can’t prepare for every situation, thinking and talking about it now is a solid move to protect you, your family and your home.

Next up for Free Advice, we’ll tackle how to plan so you can be prepared if you must evacuate.

This article is not meant as an inclusive nor exhaustive list list.