Prepare Your Home and Family | National Preparedness Month
August 24, 2018
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). Make sure your home and family are prepared before a natural disaster strikes.
Natural disasters, such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and tornados are on the rise. We want to make sure you are as prepared as possible.
The overarching theme this year is Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
2018 Weekly Themes
- Week 1: Sept 1-8 Make and Practice Your Plan
- Week 2: Sept 9-15* Learn Life Saving Skills
- Week 3: Sept 16-22 Check Your Insurance Coverage
- Week 4: Sept 23-29 Save For an Emergency
*September 15 is a National Day of Action
Evacuation Plan Prepared
Do you have an evacuation plan? Have you practiced it recently? Learn how to put together an evacuation plan for your household. Don’t forget to practice the plan with everyone!
Some keys things to remember when putting your plan together:
- Every room should have at least two exits.
- Know what types of disasters happen where you live or travel.
- Pick a safe, easy-to-remember meeting place—one place in the immediate area and another one outside the neighborhood, such as a church or community center.
- Build an emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 3 days.
- Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan
Know Where Gas and Water Shutoffs Are Located
This is an important aspect of disaster preparedness that many people forget about. Natural gas explosions are responsible for a large number of fires and accidents following a natural disaster. Water leaks are also very common.
It’s important that all household members know how to turn off the gas and water at the main valve in the event of an emergency.
Once you know the shut-off procedures for your water and gas lines, make sure you share the information with your household. Make sure you don’t actually turn the gas off when locating your gas meter.
- If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve, if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.
- Caution: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.
On the other hand, it’s a good idea to test the water valve to make sure it can be completely shut off. If it is rusty or damaged, contact a plumber or your local utility provider. Make sure you have the right tools to turn off the main gas and water valves.
Caution: If the main water line is cracked, polluted water may enter your house. In this case, shut off your water supply until authorities deem it safe to turn back on.
Know Where the Breaker Box and Main Electrical Switch Are Located
In addition to knowing where your water and gas shut-offs are located, make sure you prepared to turn off the electricity as well.
- If you don’t know where your main service panel is, contact your local electrician and they should be able to tell you.
- Once you find the main service panel, open it up. You will find either circuit breakers or fuses.
- Examine the service panel. Most likely, you have circuit breakers. In this case, you will find rows of circuit breakers with a main breaker at the very top. Each of the individual circuit breakers should be labeled so you know which circuit it is connected to. (If the breakers aren’t labeled, take the time to properly label them).
- To shut off power to just one circuit, you can flip the corresponding breaker. To shut off power to the entire house, flip the main breaker, which is usually a double-width switch at the very top of the panel. For your safety, however, make sure you shut off all of the individual circuits first before shutting off the main breaker.
Sign Up for Preparedness Resources, Alerts, Tips, and Updates
- Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips
- Sign up for preparedness text messages: Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to receive preparedness tips. (msg/data rates apply)
Additional Safety and Preparedness Tips
- Know basic home maintenance to protect your family and home. Learn how to mitigate your home against flood damage, or protect against theimpacts of earthquakes.
- Put smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them monthly, and replace them when they are 10 years old.
- Know the ways to keep your home safe from cooking, heating & electrical fires.
- Take the time to learn lifesaving skills, such as CPR and first aid.
- Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as floods, earthquakes, and tornados.
- Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency.
After an Emergency
- Make sure everyone is safe and sound.
- If you hear or smell gas inside your home or business, evacuate immediately and turn off gas at the main gas service line if it is safe to so. From a safe spot outside, call 911 and then your local gas company. Do not turn your gas back on until a professional has deemed it safe to do so. There should be a thorough safety inspection before gas service is restored.
- If there’s a power outage, use battery-operated lights instead of candles.
- Stay away from all downed power lines. The ground could be energized up to 35 feet away. If you see a downed power line, call 911.
We know how important it is to respond to disaster situations as soon as possible, which is why we offer 24/7 Emergency Services to our residential and commercial customers. We serve the entire Denver Metro Area.
When Your House is in Trouble, Call the Green Bubble. Schedule an appointment with Fix-It 24/7 at (303) 214-0277, day or night.
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