A big storm came through this past Wednesday (January 30, 2013). It didn’t last long, but there was a sudden wind that topped about 60 mph. I was standing at the window with my son strapped to me in his baby carrier when the wind hit. It was so bad, I raced to the basement with him as branches and debris started pounding our windows.
We have three cats and the basement is a mess.
Why is this a problem?
When I got down to the basement, I wanted to race upstairs and grab my kitties. I love them like my children. But I had nowhere to lay my son. He can’t sit unsupported yet, and our basement is unfinished, leaks water, and has a nasty cement floor. There was some clean laundry sitting in a basket (because no matter how many times I yell at my fiancé he keeps leaving clean laundry sit out in that nasty basement). I put him in that and raced upstairs to get my kitties. But they were nowhere in sight. By the time I found one, the storm had subsided.
Had it been an actual emergency, like a tornado, my kitties would have been long gone because my basement wasn’t set up efficient enough to deal with a weather emergency.
So, my plan when my fiancé gets home for work is to clean up the basement and designate an area for weather emergencies. Then we are going to set it up so that there is a place to lay our son and a cage of some sort to toss the kitties in as we wrangle them up. I also want to get our important documents and back-up hard drive in a safe, waterproof safe in the basement. Just in case. It may take clear through the weekend, but after this sudden shock to my feelings of safety, it needs to be done. Also, we need to buy a fire extinguisher.
What You Can Do!
In the event of an emergency, are you prepared?
- Write an emergency plan in the event of a fire, tornado, flood, robbery, and medical emergency. Review the plan with everyone in your family.
- Store valuable and important documents in a safe place. Get a waterproof safe or rent a safe deposit box at the bank (make sure it’s in a basement vault, or say bye-bye to those in the event of a bad tornado).
- Hard drive with pictures and backed-up computer documents
- Social security cards and birth certificates
- Insurance information (homeowners/renters, vehicle, health)
- Extra cash
- Momentos you’d be devastated to lose
- Have safety equipment in readily available places. Get a fire extinguisher and a fire ladder (if you have more than one floor to your house). Make sure your smoke detector is working by checking it twice a year when you turn the clocks back and forward. Think about getting a dual detector that detects both smoke and carbon monoxide.
- Make a designated safety zone. For a tornado, pix a fortified area in your basement away from windows and doors. My place is under the stairs, for extra protection. For a fire or flood, designate a neighbor’s house or landmark where everyone meets to get a head count.
- Have an emergency box set up in your safety zone. Include a battery operated radio, batteries, flashlights, bottled water, first aid kit, and a blanket.