When you turn on the news,there is always the news that an earthquake, a storm or a tornado hit some area in the world. Having lived in Manila where there are both earthquakes and storms, I have learned to TRY to disaster-proof my home. I have to explain however that to completely disaster-proof one’s home is impossible but there are safety measures and home “arrangements” which can lessen the impact of disasters when it happens to strike.
1. Make sure to check your roofing often. In case of a storm or a tornado, it is usually the roof gets blown away first. Make sure that you have no loose shingles. There is nothing like a strong and sturdy roof because that keeps the whole house protected.
2. If you see cracks in your walls have it checked by a forman or an architect. Find out why your walls have cracks, it could be a sign of erosion or an indication that you would need to add more steel to reinforce your concrete. It may cost you but better safe than sorry.
3. Make a low “safe room” where you can leave your stock of food and water supply just in case of a tornado. A safe room is something that is has a LOWER roof than that of your other rooms. Of course, you can also transform your basement into a “safe room” but make sure to stock it well. The idea of a “safe room” is sommon in countries like Israel because usually these rooms are made of the hardest concrete and are “boom proof”. A safe room is something similar to a mini-air raid shelter. Good for storms and tornadoes.
4. Give every memeber of your family a flashlight. Make sure that they are located near their bed so that should anything happen during the night, they would have enough light to make their way out of their rooms to the “safe room” or basement.
5. Always keep your cellphone charged in case of emergencies. Better still, have an extra cellphone battery for always fully charged for emergencies.
6. Purchase handy mini radios – – always make sure that you have at least 3 of these handy radios available so you know what’s happening in case disaster strikes and electricity is cut off.
7. Make it a point to get “step lights” of battery operated lights that you can step on and put in our stairway and bathroom. The stairs are an importat focal point of the home in case of an emergency.
8. Get an emergency bag packed. That means have a bag that contains all your family medications, important identifications, spare cash or a credit card plus other important health supplies.
9. Always have a complete first aid kit.