Emergency Preparedness: Better Now Than Later

Emergency Preparedness: Better Now Than LaterHome emergencies may be limited to your Grand Traverse County home, extend to your neighborhood or community, or be a regional or national disaster. This is why emergency preparedness should be part of your home maintenance routine.

Stay Informed

Collect contact information for your HVAC contractor, family doctor, emergency services and public utilities. Even if you intend to store everything on cell phones, print out and post the list throughout your Michigan home. Attach LED flashlights on strings near the lists. Learn to use emergency radios and make sure you have a car charger for your smart-phone.

Make a Plan

Plan for various levels of emergency. A summertime boiler breakdown is inconvenient but not life-threatening. A red-tagged furnace in the midst of winter is dangerous. A disaster preparedness kit is intended for use during prolonged (up to three days) or widespread emergencies; resist the temptation to dip into it because you need a battery for the remote.

Assess

A family of four needs 12 gallons of jugged water for three days, for drinking and sanitation. Frozen pipes, for example, mean you have no showers or toilets. If you have an electric water heater, expect to lose your hot water until the power comes back. Update inventory for changing needs of babies, children, the elderly or anyone with additional challenges.

Materials

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides lists for emergency preparedness kits. You will need:

  • Sufficient food and water for three days so that no one feels panicked by short rations
  • Means of contact (battery-powered radios and cell phones with chargers)
  • Changes of clothes for everyone, including diapers if needed

Canned foods (with high liquid content) need a manual can opener. Using a checklist prevents oversights.

Storage

Keep your emergency preparedness kit where you can easily reach it:

  • Closets throughout the house (each container clearly labeled with high-contrast, large lettering)
  • A guest room or home office
  • The basement with a glow-in-the-dark flashlight on a string attached to one of the containers

Maintain Your Kit

Swap out or inspect water, canned and boxed foods, batteries and items sensitive to corrosion (radios and bladed tools) every six months or annually. You need to rotate stock, check that equipment works, and practice using it.

For more help with home emergency preparedness, please contact our professionals at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about emergency preparedness and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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