Picture this: A nighttime thunderstorm rages outside. You’re watching a movie on the couch, when suddenly – pop! – the power cuts out. It’s now pitch-black inside. Do you know where your flashlight and candles are? Most people have experienced a temporary loss of electricity in the home, but what if it’s more than a few hours? Are you prepared for a real weather-related emergency like a flood, extended loss of power, or natural disaster? Keep these tips handy to make sure you’re ready for anything.
Don’t Get Stuck in the Dark
Take some time to organize your home so that emergency flashlights, candles, and matches are easily accessible. Scrambling in the dark to find a light source is dangerous and cumbersome, so make sure that there is at least one drawer or cabinet on each floor of your home where an emergency light is always kept. A dead flashlight and an unlit candle are no use when you’re in the dark, so also consider stocking up on extra batteries and matches.
Keep Extra Food and Water Stored
In a weather-related emergency like a flood or snowstorm, pipes can freeze or water can become contaminated and unsafe to drink. The Red Cross recommends keeping a two week supply of food and water in the home for emergencies. That means one gallon of water per person per day. Carve out some extra room in your pantry or basement for supplies. Food should be nonperishable and not require cooking to consume. Canned food and dried goods are a good, safe choice to ensure you’re prepared to stay inside your home during an emergency.