How to Equip Your Home for an Emergency

fire extinguisher

One of the essential aspects of setting up your new home is making sure that it has the supplies you need for common and catastrophic emergencies. As 2020 has shown us, disaster can strike unexpectedly, and it pays to be prepared.

Below, we’ll cover three crucial aspects of equipping and preparing your household for troubles you may experience:

  • A basic emergency kit

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Escape routes

A Basic Emergency Kit

Every home needs a kit with some essentials to help the household through typical emergencies. You should keep these supplies somewhere easy to access in a hurry.

The types of items you include will depend on your family’s needs, but at the very least, the American Red Cross recommends keeping all of these basics on hand:

  • Water. You should have enough for 1 gallon per person, per day. The Red Cross recommends keeping a 3-day supply with you for an evacuation and a 2-week supply at home.

  • Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food. Again, the recommendation is a 2-week supply at home and a 3-day supply for an evacuation.

  • Flashlight

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio. This will allow you to get news and weather updates.

  • Extra batteries

  • Deluxe family first aid kit. This is a 115 piece kit with essential supplies to treat most common injuries like cuts, sprains, etc.

  • 7-day supply of medications and medical items

  • Multipurpose tool. Trust us--no one ever regretted buying a quality Swiss army knife.

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items. You may want to keep things like feminine hygiene products and cleansing wipes on hand along with toilet paper.

  • Copies of personal documents. This can include your passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, the deed to your home, and any relevant medical information.

  • Cell phone cords and chargers

  • Emergency contact information

  • Extra cash. You never know when you’ll be in a situation where you won’t be able to use a card or electronic form of payment.

  • Emergency blanket. These specialized blankets might look more metallic than cozy, but they’re optimal for retaining body heat in a crisis.

  • Map(s) of your local area. You’ll want to have hard copies of these if you lose power, the internet, cell phone reception, or all of the above.

This equipment should provide you some peace of mind if a natural catastrophe or other disaster forces you to hold up indoors or evacuate. Many of these supplies can also come in handy at other times, particularly the first aid kit. After all, we’ve all gotten a cut or scrape around the house during our daily activities, and it’s vital to treat those injuries correctly to avoid infection.

Fire Extinguishers

You should have at least one fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location on each floor of your home (ex. basement, ground floor, and second floor). When shopping for extinguishers, make sure you know what type you need to buy. Multipurpose extinguishers labeled A-B-C are well-suited for most homes because they can put out a variety of fires.

Here is what each of the letters in the label means, according to FEMA:

  • A: For use with ordinary materials like cloth, wood, and paper.

  • B: For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints.

  • C: For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in.

This means that a multipurpose A-B-C extinguisher can put out fires that would be dangerous to put out with water, such as oil or electrical fires. For this reason, it’s a smart idea to keep one in both your garage and kitchen.

Escape Routes

It’s critical to know your escape routes in case you ever need to evacuate your home in a hurry due to a fire or other disaster. Although it’s not a fun conversation, take some time to gather your household together, and discuss your safety plan. Be sure to review these fire preparedness tips from the Department of Homeland Security.

While it may be easier to escape from the bottom floor out the front or back door or a window, make sure you have a plan for anyone trapped on your home’s upper floors. Experts recommend keeping retractable fire escape ladders in your upstairs bedrooms as a safe way to evacuate quickly.

By taking a few extra steps now to increase your emergency preparedness, you’ll have greater peace of mind day-to-day in your new home.

For more tips about settling into your new abode, check out our blog. At True Friends Moving Company, we don’t merely serve customers--we make friends for life!