Preparing Your Home For A Disaster - Oro Valley Real Estate
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As homeowners we can never be too prepared for the unexpected, especially when it comes to our homes. But, as is common for many of us, we have yet to even anticipate the unexpected. When it comes to a disaster, is your home and/or family ready for action at a moment's notice? Time is of the essence when a disaster hits, and the five disaster management strategies below can help you be prepared should disaster strike.
Have A Disaster Plan:
The last thing you want when a disaster/emergency happens is for you or your family to not know what to do. As part of your preparation, establish a disaster plan. This plan covers what your family should do in case of an emergency, from how to escape every room of your home in case of fire, to who to call if there are no adults at home. List out all exits of the home, all important phone numbers, have copies of all insurance cards and other important ID cards, and anything else you may need to grab in a hurry (money, phones, medication, etc.). Make sure all adults and teenagers within your home know how to exit if something happens, and that they know who to call for help.
Know What Your Home Insurance Covers:
As a homeowner, you have home insurance to protect your home when something happens. As the policyholder, talk to your insurance broker to find out what your policy covers and whether or not you need additional coverage. If you live in an area that is prone to natural disaster, find out if you have coverage for particular events, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. Learn what your insurance deductible is so you have an understanding of how much money you may need to pay for deductibles in case of an emergency.
Keep An Inventory of Your Most Expensive/Prized Items:
When an emergency hits, it can be very difficult to remember all your most prized possessions, especially if you have to vacate your home. Before anything bad happens, take a personal inventory of all your valuables. Family heirlooms, antiques, and jewelry are a given, but also think about making digital copies of any old photographs and documents that cannot be replaced. Take pictures of each room (including the contents of closets, dresses, desks, etc.) to help with any future insurance claims. Back up your computer to a separate hard drive or the cloud to ensure you don't lose anything on your personal devices. It's also a good idea to invest in a fireproof safe, which is an excellent storage option for valuable personal items.
Have A Family Plan:
Your home may be prepared for a disaster, but does every person in your family know what to do when there's an emergency? As part of your preparedness plan, make sure every person in your family knows where to go in case of an emergency. This includes determining where your family meets indoors (in case of a tornado or hurricane), in the neighborhood (should you have to leave your home), outside of your neighborhood (should an emergency occur and you can't get back to your home), and outside of your city (in case a disaster makes it impossible for you to get back to your community). Ensure every person in your family (including any children, elderly, and family pets) knows the plan or will be cared for by another family member.
Have A Stockpile of Supplies On Hand:
While many homeowners don't actively anticipate natural disasters or emergencies, it's not a bad idea to have some supplies stored in your home just in case. Keeping a supply of bottled water (1 gallon per person per day), some canned and dried foods, batteries, medications, and other essential items in a dry and accessible area of your home is a good way to ensure you have supplies at the ready should a disaster or other event come up. Set a calendar reminder on your phone or home computer to check the supplies every few months to ensure they stay within their proper dates. While it may seem like an unnecessary task, you don't want to have to scramble to the store at the last minute if a disaster hits.
Many of us don’t actively anticipate disasters or a need for an emergency plan, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Whether a natural disaster or a home fire, ensuring you and your family members know what to do in case of emergency is a great way to make sure you don't lose some of the most valuable things in your life. With just a little time and planning, you can have an emergency plan and kit in place in your home in no time.