Build an Emergency Preparation Kit

by Chris Bohr 09/22/2019

Preparing your home for emergencies in advance is important. Waiting until the last minute increases the danger and could cause harm to your family that you could easily prevent. Here you'll learn how to prepare the inside of your home for emergencies.

Get Familiar with Your Home (and tell your kids too)

Make sure you know how to disable all the utility lines in your home. It means knowing where to find the shut-offs for electricity, gas, and water just in case there is a problem with the services near your home. Downed power lines can cause shorts in your electronics and appliances, which can damage them or even start fires. It's important everyone in your family is aware of where to find these locations and teach everyone in your home as well. Keep your walkways clear in case you need to exit quickly and work with your family members to memorize all the exits from your home. Practice moving through your home in the dark in case of power outages and ensure that your family knows where to find candles and flashlights in the dark. Don't keep this information to yourself, if you happen to be injured, the rest of your family, kids included, will need to know how to help you and to keep themselves safe.

Build an Emergency Kit

OK, so this might sound like overkill, and sometimes it will be. However, if you've ever experienced an emergency with no power, food or water, you know just how important this is. For everyone else, it is better to be safe than sorry. Especially when "sorry" could mean the injury or even death of family or friends. Most of this emergency kit will keep year-round, so get it prepared and accessible, then leave it be. Make sure to update it as your situation changes.

  1. Water – keep a 3-day supply of water for your entire family. That means 3 gallons per person.
  2. Medicine – keep a week's worth of medication for your family. That means prescriptions, but also include a first aid kit and over the counter medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin.
  3. Food – prepare a week’s supply of non-perishable food that is easy to prepare. Your best options won’t require cooking or water, but if they do, make sure to plan with a camping stove and pots as well as extra water.
  4. Clothing and Sanitation – keep at least a three day supply of clothing (make sure to plan for different weather types) for each family member along with some sanitary wipes, dry shampoo, and emergency blankets. 
  5. Radio – get an emergency radio so you can stay informed. Your best option will be a combination of battery and hand-crank power. Set aside extra batteries but be aware they will run out.
  6. Tools – get an extra toolkit, car emergency kit, flashlights, extra batteries, and any additional tools for your area such as ice scrapers.
  7. Contacts – get yourself a pre-paid emergency cell phone and keep it charged and with the kit. Make sure the phone has all your emergency contacts, including their emergency phone numbers when possible. If you end up without power for an extended period, that battery will die, so make sure to list the contacts in a physical notebook and include that as well
  8. Documents – make copies of all your family's important documents. That means birth certificates, medical notices, passports and IDs, and anything else you can think you might lose if your home is damaged.
  9. Pets – most emergency shelters don’t accept pets, so if you have them, make sure to find a pet-friendly shelter ahead of time. Your pet will need the same things as your family, so be sure to include water, non-perishable food, extra leashes and anything else you can think of that your pet will need 

Remember to update this kit as needed. When your family needs change, update the kit accordingly. Do some research to find out what additional items you might need due to your particular living situation.

Tell Everyone

Your family needs to be just as prepared as you. Practice reacting to emergencies, and make sure that everyone has as much knowledge as you can. Older children are often capable of memorizing all the aspects of your emergency plan and helping out with injuries, smaller children and the elderly or pets. Explain all the elements of your plan to your children and create a manual or book they can study or reference. Its best to stick with picture-based instructions, think of the emergency flyer on an airplane for inspiration, so no one has trouble figuring out what to do if you aren't home or if they need to explain to their friends. Lastly, make sure that your whole family has everyone else's emergency contact information and knows how to reach emergency services. 

If you prepare in advance, you can protect your family in case of disaster. Make sure to ask your real estate professional about the most common hazards in your area.

About the Author
Author

Chris Bohr

Hello, My name is Chris Bohr, I’m a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay Area, married to a wonderful woman, Michelle “Missy” Bohr and we have a two year old son who is the apple of my eye. I’m a graduate of Countryside High School in Clearwater, Florida, a Graduate of the University of Central Florida, and an active Realtor and Auctioneer. You are looking for someone to help you to either buy or sell a home, liquidate the contents of a home, or perhaps do it all. I can help! …and I want too. As a member of this great community I’ve seen quite a few changes around these parts and can help guide you through the mazes of the Real Estate World. In addition to the various licenses I’m also a proud member of the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Pinellas Realtor Organization, Florida Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, won several business awards and was even named the honorary Mayor of Palm Harbor many years ago. Our approach to helping you sell your home starts with a global reach to find those buyers who may be sitting in a cold basement somewhere just looking for a reason to come down to the beautiful sunshine state and stop shoveling snow. In addition to the global reach, I also include the local, “Hey look at me” method of marketing by making your home visible to more potential buyers than most properties on the market today. If you are looking to buy a home, I understand it can be very intimidating, I take the pains away and remind you that buying a home should be fun and if you put the right person on the job I can promise to do my best to walk you through the hurdles of home buying. My approach is founded on experience, of course the experience of buying and selling houses, but also going through the processes myself and recalling the times when it was the most nerve racking. I keep you informed, I answer my phone, and I actually check emails and respond in a professional and courteous manner…I guess you could call that the Golden Rule. What sets me apart from other Realtors is the ability to handle not only your purchase or sale, but also having the ability to liquidate the contents, or lighten your load in regards to contents through our licensed and reputable Estate Sale and Auction Company. I love it here in the Tampa Bay area, and you will too. Drop me a line or give me a call, and let’s get the ball rolling toward your next move! Remember, Bohr Sells Homes, in fact that’s my website. www.BohrSellsHomes.com Thank you, Chris