Be Prepared for a Disaster
Here are your Top Ten Tips
to prepare your home and car for a disaster:
- Find your gas and water shut-off valves. Be sure to have the proper tools to turn the gas and water to the OFF position. Use the metal tools for these functions as plastic or fiberglass become brittle with time.
- Create an escape route at home, or become familiar with the emergency route in your apartment building.
- Develop a plan so that all family members will try to meet in one spot within 12 hours after a disaster strikes.
- Organize an earthquake kit for each member of the family. The kit should be able to hold you for three days and include such items as: water, a flashlight, change of clothes, small denominations of cash, medication, canned goods and a can opener, first aid kit, AM radio and batteries, fire extinguisher, and pet supplies/food as appropriate.
- Secure heavy furniture with braided metal cable, chain, or angle brackets.
- Use museum gel (or museum glue) to secure delicate and breakable items.
- Stoves, refrigerators, washers/dryers should also be secured to the wall.
- Scan, then email to yourself, important documents such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, financial papers, social security cards, mortgage papers, etc.
- The disaster kit in your car should consist of water, flashlight, flares, change of clothes, canned goods/can opener, small denominations of cash, etc.
- A word about water supplies and fire extinguishers: water is the most important item to store and we should store about 5 gallons per person, per day (and also water for your pets!!!). Sealed water bottles should be rotated every six months. Disaster experts recommend using general purpose dry chemical fire extinguishers. Available in different sizes, these have a range of between 8 and 12 feet and will empty in 10-20 seconds.