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Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Infamous words from Benjamin Franklin and the rule of thumb in disaster preparedness. Having a plan, one that everyone in your household knows and understands, is one of the most important things you can do for your family. 

It’s not about how simple or elaborate it is, the critical part is to simply have one. Take a tornado for example: A common occurrence in the midwest springtime it’s not unusual for a tornado to form and touch down in the middle of the night. Think about waking up to a twister coming through your neighborhood like a freight train at 3 AM — not the best time to make a plan. But it is an excellent time to execute the plan you have already made and practiced. 

Here are some key points to consider when creating yours:

 FEMA suggests that every household have an easy-to-carry bundle of supplies like water, food and medications to last at least three days. In addition to one in your home, you may want to keep an emergency kit in your car, because you never know when disaster might strike. Here is a list of items to include in your kit.

There are some places you absolutely should not be in the event of severe weather. For instance, If you live in a mobile home you should leave and take shelter in a sturdier building. If you happen to be driving during a disaster locate a truck stop or some other well-built structure such as a highway underpass.

Practice for the worst-case scenario. Run drills at home so you aren’t stuck figuring things out in the middle of an actual disaster.

Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and determine how you will work together as a team.

The Red Cross advises practicing evacuating your home twice a year. Grab your emergency kit, just like you will in a real emergency, then drive your planned evacuation route. Plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable. Make sure you have locations and maps saved on devices, GPS units, and on paper.

Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes. Remember, if it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for your pets either.

Eventually, after the imminent danger passes, you’ll want to assess the damage to your home and property. If you have a claim you’ll also want to contact your Snyder Insurance Representative. This is what we’re trained to do — walk you through the claim process, answer any questions, and in general be a friendly voice on the other side of the phone.

Winterize Your Life

Winterize your life!

Well, maybe not your life but certainly your home and vehicles. With October ushering in an early snow event this year (hello snowy trick or treating) it’s bound to be a long, cold winter season. Prepare yourself and your belongings the best you can with these winterization and safety tips.

Clean Your Gutters

With temperatures plummeting ice forms (and falls) quickly. Cleaning out leaves and debris from your gutters at the beginning of the season will prevent icicles and ice dams forming later. 

Window Insulation Film

Window Insulation Film

Listen, we know it’s not all that fashionable, but it you have single-pane or a drafty window not only are you looking at a cold winter sitting on the couch, you’re also likely staring down a costly utility bill. You may want to consider breaking out the hairdryer and putting some plastic film in place for the coldest months. The difference could be dramatically warmer and cheaper!

Change Your Furnace Filters

Now that you’re going to be spending considerably more time inside, running your furnace, change the air filter. It will save you money and also it’s good for your health. 

Check Your Fireplace

Before you build the first fire of the season have a professional out to service and clean the chimney. It’s not uncommon for them to become obstructed with an animal nest or an abundance of creosote build-up.

Now that your house is in order, let's talk about what you can do to prepare your vehicle for freezing temperatures and cold weather driving.

Slow Down

I know it sounds so simple but how many times have you been on autopilot to and from work and the next thing you know you’re driving way too fast for the road conditions. Winter is the time of black ice and good time to take your foot off the accelerator.

Check Your Tire Tread and Tire Pressure

If you’ve known in the back of your head it’s time to change out your tires, make this a priority before the mercury drops lower. There’s no better way to make it home safely than to have four good tires carrying you home.

Check Your Battery

Your battery, an intregral key to the wellness of your car. Cold temperatures can zap an already old or low battery in the blink of an eye. To prevent breakdowns and side of the road mishaps spend the money and update old batteries ahead of time. 

Stock Your Car

Not only with gas in the tank and oil under the hood, which are also important, but also with emergency supplies. You never know when you’re going to get caught on the side of the road in the middle of a crazy blizzard. Having an extra layer of clothes, something to eat, and water to drink can be a total game changer. Check out this list to see the other things you also might consider having on hand this winter.