1. Have an action plan
It doesn’t matter what kind of emergency you’re up against, every member of the family should know what to do when disaster strikes. There should be a chain of command and a set of instructions – know which emergency lines to call, where to go if you need to evacuate, how it to keep in contact with each other, and what to do with your pets.
2. Keep everything maintained
When it comes to natural disasters, you need to double-check your home and property is in good health. This means sealing any foundation cracks with epoxy injections, cleaning your gutters, keeping your lawn and garden tidy, and assessing any points of weakness like the roof, doors and screens, and windows.
3. Check your safety devices
There’s no point having fire alarms and smoke detectors if they don’t work, so make sure to regularly replace the batteries. If you’ve installed automatic lighting outside, ensure the system is working and you can see any potential threats – disaster or intruders – from a long way off. You may have never used your fire extinguisher, but it should be in working order and ready to go just in case.
4. Ensure you’re insured
When the worst happens, it’s liberating to know you’re financially covered. Double-check your home and contents insurance is adequate and up-to-date. It’s worth doing research on the area you’re living, just so you what kind of natural disasters you’re prone to, and what policy you should take out.
5. Get a home security system
Do you research to see what kind of system best suits your home and your budget? You should be able to find one that includes cameras, alarms and other security measures. It might seem like overkill, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Pack an emergency kit
Time is your greatest resource in an emergency situation – especially in the case of flood, bushfire or storm. That’s why your emergency kit should be easily accessible and ready to go. It should contain first aid supplies, a torch with batteries, important documents and certificates, specific medications, drinking water, non-perishable foods, and spare clothing.
7. Be mindful of recovery
Disasters and emergencies can be traumatic – for you, your kids and your pets. The shock can cause mental and physical repercussions, from anxiety and depression to headaches and stomach aches. It’s important to reassure your children, ease them back into normalcy, and if needed, seek professional help. The same goes for elderly folk too, as well as your pets. After a traumatic event, it’s all about feeling supported and easing back into daily routines.