Have you ever run into this problem? The power goes out and you run all over trying to find the flashlight you knew you put in a kitchen drawer, but realized you moved when you were looking for something under your bed? Or you worry that the smoke detector that is next to the kitchen won’t be heard in the upstairs bedrooms at the other end of the house?
Well, you really don’t have to worry about that any longer! You can PREPare your home for emergencies, room by room, by creating a PREParedness floor plan!
Come join me at the Allstate.com Blog
I’m excited to be partnering with Allstate.com in creating a PREParedness floor plan for you! Come visit the blog to read up on a room by room plan to PREpare your home for emergencies.
Then follow-up with these extra tips from me!
A Floor Plan to PREPare Your Home for Emergencies – Room by Room
Garage or Shed
Tools – make sure you have the appropriate tools to be able to do the most basic of home repair for your home. Screwdrivers, drills, saws, plumbing, etc.
Plywood – if you live in a hurricane zone, it’s a good idea to have plywood that is already cut for each of your windows in storage in your garage or shed so that you don’t have to make the rush to the DIY store with thousands of others when a threat is coming. Be sure to keep the necessary hardware to install them located with the plywood or in a well-marked location for easy grabbing.
Fire Extinguisher – You should keep a fire extinguisher on every floor in your home (we use these fire extinguishers) , plus in the kitchen, but also in the garage for fires that could be started from equipment and/or chemicals. Knowing the right kind of extinguisher is important, so be sure to investigate which is best for each room of your home.
First Aid Kit – Accidents happen all over the house, which is why our family keeps first aid kits in a prominent spot in areas easy to get to. The same goes for your garage, which may be far on the other side of the house from your first aid items. HINT: Spray paint a small tackle box or storage container a bright color (like some of the colors from Krylon) to make it stand out from other gear on your shelves and easier to grab when it’s needed the most!
Utility Key – having this handy tool can help you turn off gas and/or water in an emergency. Just remember, do not turn it back on until you’ve had your utility company come out, post-emergency, and check that everything is okay. Do not do it yourself.
Camping Gear – for us, having camping gear stored in the garage makes the most sense. We have boxes that are clearly labeled for camping equipment such as cooking gear, keep sleeping bags double bagged (to prevent critters from getting inside and making a home), and tents. Sure, they’re all used for camping, but they can also be grabbed for an evacuation emergency if necessary.
Grab and Go Bags – whether you create a 72 hour kit, a grab and go bag or other emergency evacuation kits, for some, the garage is the perfect space to store them. Just make sure they are fully stocked and ready, and are easily accessible.
Extra Stocks – store extra non-perishable toilet paper, clothing, hard goods and more in clearly marked, rodent proof bins. Don’t keep food in the garage unless you live in an area with perfect weather, all the time as the temperature fluctuations in garages tend to make food go bad more quickly.
Extra Fuel – please follow proper precautions when storing fuels for your yard equipment, cars, motorcycles and boats. It’s handy to have extra fuel on hand in case getting fuel is delayed by an emergency, especially during weather related events when stations might be out of order or the demand exceeds supply. Here are some great guidelines to follow for safely storing fuel.
Doors and Windows
Doors – many homes might come with a builder’s grade cheap door for the front and back doors. Consider upgrading to a heavy-duty security door. Also replace the small screws that hold together your hinges and lock equipement with longer screws that won’t break as easily when an intruder tries to gain entry. You can also reinforce the strike plates with kits from your DIY store.
Locks – as with a door, upgrade your builder grade or older locks with ones that offer more security.
Window Security Bars – with sliding glass doors or windows, a window security bar can help keep a door or window from being opened if the lock is broken. Just make sure you can easily remove them in the case of an emergency evacuation.
On Every Floor
- Fire Extinguisher
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector/Alarms
- First Aid Kit
- Communication — consider a walkie talkie for each floor that is on the same band to communicate with family members if you’re separated by fire or other disaster. Keep it in an area to that is easy to get to for your family members (maybe a central closet or office) and always charged.
- Emergency lighting – Keeping emergency lighting available in the hallway is important for blackouts or fires.
Emergency Escape Ladders – Each room on the second and third floor of your home should have an emergency escape ladder appropriate for the height of the room. One on each floor isn’t enough because your child’s room may be blocked off by fire. Be sure to review how to use the ladder with your children often so that they understand how to use them.
Just like with other floors of your home, you’ll want to keep specific supplies that are easier to get to than having to go back upstairs to gather. If you have sleeping quarters or a kitchen in your basement space, make sure you have the equipment you need specific to that task.
- An emergency exit – not all homes are built with a quick exit from a basement space, so it’s important to know the building codes for your area and have one in place. Bob Villa suggests that it’s not just for you, but for the emergency personnel who may be coming in for you if you are not capable of escaping yourself.
Protecting your home from human emergencies is as important as natural ones. Not only do you need to make sure you’ve burglar-proofed your home to the best of your ability, but you want to make sure you aren’t offering up safety concerns for friends and family as well.
- Motion Detector Lighting
- Well lit entries
- Trimmed hedges
- Play equipment in good working order.
I bet you never knew that PREParing your mailbox might be an issue? PREParedness isn’t just for natural emergencies, but for protecting your family as well. Using a locking mailbox protects you from having your mail stolen and can help deter identity thieves from getting your personal information.
Be sure to stop by the Allstate Blog for more room by room specifics!
What else do you do to help PREPare your home? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Tom is a Marketing & Communications graduate interested in nature, gardening, agriculture, and traveling. For the last decade, Tom has turned his hobbies into a full-time job, creating useful resources and guides for all our readers. If he is not working on his next article, you will find Tom spending quality time with family or taking care of his own back garden.
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