At Nicol Insurance, we want to make sure you’re prepared for the worst. No one wants to think about it as a possibility, but emergencies do happen, so it’s important to be ready for power outages, a lack of water, or being trapped in your home due to extreme weather. While your insurance policy can help you recoup after a loss, it won’t protect you from immediate dangers. That’s why our team has put together a handy home preparedness guide to help you get ready for whatever may happen.
Make An Emergency Plan
Every member of your household should know what to do in case of an emergency, and the best way to guarantee that is to make a plan together. If an emergency happens within your home, it’s vitally important to know where your accessible exits are. Draw up a floorplan of your home and mark all of the emergency exits so everyone knows where to go. If someone in your household has special needs, it’s especially important to have a plan for getting them out of your home safely. You should let your neighbours know of any special needs within your home, so they can help if you’re not around. Don’t forget pharmacies may be unavailable to you right away, so keep a list of your family’s allergies, medications and special needs for reference.
In case an emergency forces you out of your home or neighbourhood, prepare an outline for where to meet your family. You can’t rely on mobile phones to work properly or stay charged throughout an extended emergency situation, so make sure everyone knows where to meet up and be sure to have an alternative spot to meet in case the primary location is unsafe. You should also arrange an “out of town” emergency contact should you need to get far away from home.
Have An Emergency Kit Packed And Ready To Go
It can be difficult to get organized when you’re in the middle of a crisis, but with a well-packed emergency kit, you only need to remember one thing – your emergency kit. Keep in mind, you may find yourself without water, food, heat or power for some time before emergency workers can reach you, so your kit should be prepared to last you for a few days without essentials.
Here is a list of what we recommend packing:
- A copy of your insurance information, in case you don’t have access to your personal files
- A copy of your emergency plan
- A warm, comfortable change of clothes and footwear for every member of your household
- Blankets, gloves, thick socks, hats and scarves
- Any critical medication your family needs
- A hand-crank or battery-operated radio, in case of a power outage
- A flashlight and extra batteries
- Candles & matches in a plastic bag
- Emergency food & water
- Pet food and medication, if needed
- A first aid kit
- Extra cash, in small bills
- Maps of your area
- Temporary shelter
- Tarps and ropes
Make Sure Your Home Is Ready
If you’re going to be waiting out an emergency at home, there are a few steps you should take to get ready for an extended stay. First of all, make sure you know how to turn off the water, electricity and gas in your home in case it becomes unsafe to leave them on. Investing in shutters and strong weather stripping for your doors and windows will help conserve heat and protect the interior from any harsh elements. You should also have a few extra items ready, aside from the contents of your emergency kit, including:
- Fire alarms and CO detectors on every level of your home. Check them at least twice a year to make sure they work and keep spare batteries on hand.
- Charged and working fire extinguishers on every level of your home, especially by the furnace and in the kitchen.
- Have a camp cooking set ready in case you run out of power or gas.
- Consider keeping a wired home phone in case mobile service isn’t available
With all these tips in mind, you and your family should be well prepared for any emergency you might face. The insurance industry is all about preparing for life’s unforeseen events, and we want to give you every advantage. Give us a call if you’re unsure if your home is properly covered, and we’ll be happy to review your policy and help any way that we can.