As we begin a new year, many of us make New Year’s Resolutions that don’t survive the first quarter or even the first month. While personal goals usually only affect one person, a preparedness plan can impact the whole family, including pets. This year, resolve to be ready for scary situations such as major storms and severe weather.
Winter can mean ice and snow, keeping you trapped in your home, possibly without power, or in your car due to road closures or icy conditions. Winter storms can also mean flooding in warmer locations.
Below are some quick tips to help you be better prepared for those worst-case scenarios:
- Make an emergency plan: choose a safe place to meet, learn evacuation routes, and establish an out-of-town contact.
- Get to know your neighbor and invite them to be a part of your emergency plan.
- Set up group text lists so you can communicate with friends and family during emergencies.
- Take a current photo of you and your pet together in case you get separated during a disaster.
- Take pictures of important documents and save them in a secure place or online.
- Make a narrated video or take pictures of your property for insurance purposes.
- Check your insurance for coverage on disasters like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
- Have back-up power sources available to charge devices in case of a power outage.
- Sign up for alerts and warnings. Download the FEMA or other weather app to get real-time alerts, safety tips, and locate open shelters.
- Save for a rainy day! Start and grow your emergency fund.
- Keep and update emergency supplies; remember to include cash.
- Keep at least one week of food supplies at home, especially ready-to-eat foods that don’t require power to prepare.
- Make sure your smoke detectors include carbon monoxide alarms in case your furnace or heating ventilation is restricted.
- Keep warm clothing, food and blankets in your car so you can survive the night in frigid temperatures.
- Take a class in CPR and first aid.