How to prepare your home for any emergency
While no one wants to dwell on worst-case scenarios, the past year has in many ways illustrated that there are no certainties in life. Preparing your home to handle a wide range of emergency scenarios will offer you peace of mind now and keep your family safe in the future.
To get prepped, start with the essentials. With sufficient fuel, water, food and other necessities, you can ride out potential emergency scenarios. Here’s how to collect and store these items safely and securely:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends storing at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for 14 days so that in the event of an emergency that affects water supply, you’ll have enough for both drinking and sanitation.
When it comes to long-term storage though, standard plastic bottles are not ideal as they degrade over time, compromising water quality and safety. Instead, consider taking a cue from the military. Standard issue to U.S. and Canadian armed forces, Scepter Military Water Cans hold 5 gallons and are made from rugged, high-density polyethylene. They keep chemicals, odors and tastes out of your water; corrosion- and fungus-resistant, water also stays clean and safe.
And because they are virtually indestructible and can withstand extreme weather conditions, they can pull double duty and come with you on camping trips, sports expeditions and other adventures. Millions of these containers have been used around the world by U.S. armed forces and are now available to consumers, making them a must-have for any emergency supply kit.
Homeowners should have a fresh supply of gasoline, diesel and kerosene so they can operate generators, chainsaws and other tools often needed during and after emergencies. Fuel containers should be stored in secure, dry locations away from heat sources, pets and easy access to children.
You also should be sure to select containers that exceed minimum standards, such as the SmartControl fuel containers from Scepter, available in 1-, 2- and 5-gallon sizes. These high-density polyethylene containers feature an innovative spout design that helps save fuel when it’s needed most by eliminating messy spills. For high-capacity needs, the 14-gallon wheeled Scepter Duramax offers a safe and convenient refueling choice.
The CDC recommends storing at least a three-day supply of food for emergency scenarios. Be sure these are items with a very long shelf life that don’t require refrigeration or cooking. They should also meet the dietary needs of all household members. Periodically check your supply to ensure expiration dates have not passed and refresh items as needed. To avoid spoilage and odors, store food in airtight containers away from petroleum products and heat.
Of course, other important essentials should also be in your emergency kit, such as batteries, flashlights, first aid supplies and prescription medications. For a comprehensive emergency supply list, go to www.ready.gov.