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By Absolutely Dry, Sep 15 2016 08:50PM

Once the air gets a chill to it you know it’s time for your fall cleaning checklist, so you can get your home and your family ready for the cold weather.

Cleaning your home in the fall, just like for spring cleaning, is about renewal, and getting your family prepared for the upcoming seasons.

It is generally recommend doing your bigger deep cleaning in the spring, after the long winter stuck indoors.

However, you still need to do a smaller fall house cleaning.

Since this is a once a year event it is suggested using a checklist so you don't forget anything. Below we have listed everything you need to do as part of your autumn cleaning.

To Do Throughout The House

•Clean window treatments(either at home or dry clean depending on their type)

•Replace light window coverings with heavier weight ones

•Clean and dust light fixtures

•Wipe down all handles, door knobs, etc.

•Dust and/or wash mini blinds and other blinds and shades

•Dust blades of ceiling fans and other hard to reach areas, such as tops of doors, etc.

•Oil door hinges

•Wash windows and window screens

•Wash mirrors

•Declutter and organize

Fall Cleaning Checklist In Various Rooms


•Vacuum refrigerator coils

•Clean the oven


•Replace or wash shower curtain


•Clean blankets and linens, including mattress covers and dust ruffles

•Wash pillows

•Flip mattresses

•Replace summer bedding with winter weight bedding

•Store warm-weather clothes and replace with cool-weather clothing

Laundry Room

•Clean out dryer vent thoroughly to remove lint from hose

Attic / Basement / Garage

•Clean the floors

•Replace filter in furnace and/or AC unit

By Absolutely Dry, Sep 14 2016 08:50PM

Have you felt it yet? That first chill in the air that whispers of the coming of fall? It’s a sure bet autumn is just around the corner, and it's a great time to start planning and preparing your garden for fall, and eventually winter.

Here are 10 tips for ensuring your garden’s ready for fall and the cooler temperatures:

1.Plant your spring bulbs, including tulips and daffodils. Ideally, this should be done by mid-October for best results, and before the ground begins to freeze.

2.Trim back perennials that have gone dormant (once the leaves and stems have turned yellow or brown). If the plant still has green leafy growth late in the fall, it’s best to leave it until spring to see if it needs to be cut back. Also, some plants produce seed heads that are attractive to overwintering birds and these can be left standing until early spring, at which time they can be pruned back.

3.Get rid of any diseased foliage from infected plants. If left alone or composted they can harbor a new outbreak next year.

4.Divide dormant perennials that have become too large or numerous. These can be shared with friends or planted in other areas of the garden. Make sure new plants are well mulched to minimize frost heave.

5.Fall is a great time to plant, so continue adding to your garden. In early fall the ground is still warm and many plants are still actively growing roots.

6.Water needle-leaved conifers (like pines, firs, spruces and cedars) and broad-leaved evergreens (such as rhododendrons) well into the fall. This ensures that they will be well hydrated before the ground freezes.

7.Rake up and compost tree leaves. Do not rake freshly fallen leaves onto gardens as they can smother young plants. It is best to let them compost first. Where walnut trees occur, do not add their leaves to the garden or compost, as they contain a chemical that can kill or diminish the growth of many plants (including a number of vegetable plants).

8.Stake young and newly planted trees. Fall can produce some blustery weather in most parts of the U.S. and staking will help prevent damage from high winds or heavy wet snow, which can occur later in the season.

9.Mulch garden beds to retain moisture and to protect your plants from rapid fluctuations in temperature. Fall is a good time to spread compost over the vegetable garden so that it is ready to be dug in come spring.

10.Don’t forget to fill up the birdfeeder. Fall is migration time and you never know what feathered visitor may stop by!

By Absolutely Dry, Sep 13 2016 08:50PM

Cooler temperatures and pretty soon falling leaves serve as a reminder that the fall season is fast approaching. As the seasons change, so do our activities and home needs. Even though summer is not quite over yet, it’s a good time to do some seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. The weather can change quickly, especially if you live in a colder climate and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. A bit of attention now will save costly repairs and aggravation later.

Interior Maintenance

1.Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.

2.Have your furnace inspected. Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra air filters and change them every few months.

3.Winterize air conditioning. If your home has central air conditioning, (and you live in a climate where you won’t need it any longer,) it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover to prevent air leaks.

4.Programmable thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.

5.Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.

6.Clean humidifiers. Replace old filters and clean inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well.

Exterior Maintenance

1.Do a roof check. You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.

2.Check the chimney and fireplace. If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.

3.Stock up on firewood. Order enough firewood for the season. If you gather your own firewood, make sure it’s dry and ready. It’s best to cover firewood and store away from the house for safety reasons.

4.Inspect siding. Check home exterior for cracks or holes. Repair them yourself or hire a professional.

5.Clean the gutters. Hire a service to clear your gutters or do it yourself. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks.

6.Check water drainage. Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.

7.Reinforce windows and doors. Remove screens and install storm windows and doors if you use them. Check caulk and seals around all doors and windows.

8.Turn off faucets and store hoses. Drain garden hoses and disconnect from the outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze.

9.Service sprinklers and irrigation system. Depending on your climate, your irrigation system may need to be drained and checked. Have a professional perform any necessary repairs and mark sprinkler heads near snow removal areas.

10.Inspect trees. Check for damaged limbs that may break or that are too close to power lines or the roof.

11.Trim landscaping. Cut back bushes, shrubs, and flowers as recommended for your climate zone.

12.Bring in flowerpots. If you keep plants or flower in pots year-round, bring them inside. If you replace plants every year, empty, clean, dry pots and put away for next spring.

13.Plant bulbs. If you plant bulbs for spring, now’s the time to get them in the ground.

14.Leaf removal. Rake and remove leaves from the yard. Put into a compost pile if you have one. Alternatively, put into yard garbage bags and leave at the curb for community pick up. Check with your local city or town for requirements and pick up schedules.

15.Fertilize lawn. Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it. If you have a lawn service, they should do this for you.

16.Put away seasonal furniture. Clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture. Remove and clean cushions. Wash and dry furniture and store in a dry place over winter.

17.Close the pool. If you have a pool and live in an area where temperatures dip, schedule a service to come and close it for the season or if you know how, buy the supplies and do it yourself.

18.Organize the shed. As your shed is filling up with summer items in storage it’s a good time to organize and clean out the shed. Move summer items to the back and winter stuff up front for better access. Also, remove any liquids that will freeze.

In the Garage

1.Service summer power equipment. Empty fuel and clean lawnmower and trimmer. Have lawnmower blades sharpened and oil changed. Have any necessary repairs done now, so that you’re ready come spring.

2.Store summer vehicles. If you have a motorcycle, summer car, ATV or other type seasonal vehicle, now’s a good time to have that serviced as well.

3.Get winter equipment ready. Service snow blower and make sure it is ready to go, especially if you live in an unpredictable climate.

4.Test the generator. If you have an emergency generator for power outages, give it a test, and make sure it’s in good working order.

5.Buy extra gasoline. Purchase extra gas to have on hand for use in your snow blower or generator, so you’re prepared for emergencies. Make sure you store gasoline in tanks away from fire sources and out of children’s reaches.

6.Clean the garage. Since you’re in the garage prepping for fall, you might as well purge, organize and clean it while you’re there!

As you’re enjoying the last bits of summer, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming fall season. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Properly maintaining your home also enhances its value and appeal and is less effort than managing a crisis later. When the chilly weather approaches you and your home will be ready.

By Absolutely Dry, Sep 8 2016 08:50PM

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.

Contact Absolutely Dry immediately for all of your Fire and Smoke damage needs. You can reach us at (219) 465-9339 or 866-324-9300.

By Absolutely Dry, Sep 7 2016 08:50PM

Water damage can strike at any time, and often without warning. From weather, to appliance malfunctions, to bathroom fixtures, there are numerous ways you can find your home threatened by unwanted water. Once the water has found its way in, it’s important to know the cleanliness of the water you’re dealing with. Below we’ll discuss the different ways damage tends to occur, and review water hazard categories to stay safe around water damage emergencies.

Potential Sources of Water Damage in Your Home


Rain, thunderstorms, and flooding tend to be the biggest weather related water damage. During the summer months, from May through September, many areas tend to see the highest amount of thunderstorms and accompanying heavy rains. The water damage can range from leaks in the roof leading to small water spots, all the way up to full blown floods that leave your entire home under water.


Like anything, appliances aren’t perfect. They may work great for a long period of time, right up until they

don’t. Dishwashers or garbage disposals may get clogged from food, leaving water all over your kitchen floor. Washing machines can overflow or have water hoses that aren’t sealed properly, giving your floor an unwelcome sudsy bath. Any appliance that is connected to a water source has the potential to cause water damage in your home.

Bathroom Fixtures

With all the plumbing and water flow in bathrooms, it’s no surprise they can be prone to water damage. Pipes under the sink and in the walls can leak or burst, especially in older houses. Toilets can backup and overflow. Particularly when a septic tank is involved, systems can overflow if not maintained properly. Walls around the tub and shower can also become damaged from water exposure.

Types of Water and Hazard Levels

Category 1 (previously called White Water)

This source of water comes from a clean and sanitary source and is considered to pose no substantial threat to people. Sources might include faucets, toilet tanks, etc.

Category 2 (previously called Gray Water)

This source of water is considered to have contaminates likely to cause illness and discomfort if ingested. Sources might include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, sink drain flushes, and toilet overflow with urine but no feces.

Category 3 (previously called Black Water)

This source of water is extremely unsanitary and may cause severe illness or death if ingested. Sources include flooding from rivers or streams, sewer or septic backup, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant water that has begun to collect bacteria. This category is the most important to pay attention to when trying to stay safe around water damage.

When a water emergency does happen, we are here to help!

With the numerous potential sources of water damage, it’s usually only a matter of time until you experience an unwanted water incident of your own. When water disaster strikes, make sure to protect your loved ones first, especially if you’re dealing with Category 2 or 3 water. If you’re facing an emergency situation, Absolutely Dry is available 24 hours a day to help. We can assess the situation, repair any water damage, and get your home back to normal again.

We want you stay safe around water damage. Call us at (219) 465-9339 or 866-324-9300 or visit our website www.absolutelydry.net for more information.

By Absolutely Dry, Sep 6 2016 08:50PM

What is an Insurance Claim?

Water damage insurance claims are the most frequent type of insurance loss reported to homeowners’ insurance companies. When you file an insurance claim, you are making a formal request, to your insurance company, asking for a payment based on the terms of your policy. These claims are then reviewed by your insurance company for validity and then paid out to you (the insured), or a requesting party, once approved.

Water or flood damage, to your home, can be an expensive repair. The National Flood Insurance Program estimates repairing a 2,000-square foot home that has six inches of water damage costs an average of $39,150.

What To Know About Your Insurance Policy

You just finished cleaning the kitchen, set the dishwasher to do its cycle, and go into the other room to sit down for a bit. The next thing you know, you hear a strange noise from your dishwasher. You walk into the room to find water everywhere. You clean up the water but a couple days later your find that your flooring starts buckling.

In this case, your Homeowners Insurance Policy will likely provide coverage. Most standard homeowners’ policies provide protection from water damage if the cause is accidental and immediate. However, water damage may not be covered with the following issues:

-Damage from unresolved maintenance issues

-Replacing or repairing the source of the water damage

-Water backup from an outside sewer or drain



You should always check with your insurance agent, to know what would be covered, in the event of an unfortunate incident such as water damage or flooding. This way, you can add additional coverage or modify your current policy, based on your needs.

Water Damage vs. Flooding

It is very important, when you call your insurance agent to file a claim, that you know the difference between flooding and water damage. Mentioning that your house “flooded” can cause major issues with your claim. A flood, referring to the overflowing of a river or body of water that has submerged your house, is different than a collection of water in your house from a burst pipe or appliance.

When you buy or rent a home, check to see if you qualify for flood insurance. It costs an average of $700 a year and normally provides coverage of around $230,000. This helps to add more protection to your home and belongings in case of an actual flood.

Prepare For the Unexpected

Being a homeowner, landlord, and tenant or living in any dwelling, there is always a possibility that your home can flood or be subject to water damage from an appliance or burst pipe. There are many things you can do to prepare for this potential situation.

Most insurance companies will cover your water damage if it’s sudden and accidental, but they want to know that it happened from a pipe burst or an immediate problem. If the cause is from a prolonged maintenance issue, chances are, the damage for that incident will not be covered.

Ask your insurance agent about your insurance policy’s provisions for temporary housing. If your house is badly flooded from water damage, you may have to stay elsewhere, until the damage is repaired.

Be careful about repairing or cleaning up any damage. It’s best to wait for the water damage restoration company, or adjuster, to come in and make an assessment of the damage with their industry experience, then to start cleaning up the area or fixing damage yourself. This may cause issues with your water damage insurance claim. Make sure to take as many pictures as you can to clearly document the areas affected by water damage, as well.

Water Damage Insurance Claims

Water Damage is the most frequent type of insurance loss reported to homeowners insurance companies. Some companies are trying to negate their obligation to pay on their policies provision by stating that any loss reported past a 14 day period will not be covered. It is very important if you suspect or clearly have a water damage situation, you get help from a qualified water damage restoration contractor, as soon as possible.

Mold Insurance Claims

Whether or not your insurance covers mold comes down to the root cause of the issue. If the mold is due to a prolonged issue, as discussed previously, then it most likely will not be covered. On the other hand, if mold occurs from a burst pipe, your home insurance coverage might qualify to help repair the damage and get rid of the unhealthy mold spores that can occur.


Insurance policy language, dealing with adjusters, insurance agents and the situation itself, can be difficult after experiencing damage to your home and belongings. Absolutely Dry is experienced in filing and handling water damage and mold insurance claims. We work with the adjusters and insurance agents to properly handle whatever situation you have related to water damage or mold. We encourage you to be proactive and prepared in case of a water damage emergency. When you do experience a disaster, we can help restore your home and your life.

Absolutely Dry is prepared to address any water damage and mold issues 24 hours, seven days a week, for all water removal, water damage, water restoration, mold remediation, and water leak needs, including water extraction and structural drying.

By Absolutely Dry, Sep 1 2016 08:00PM

Because of the associated health risks and other factors, many homeowners and commercial building owners are very afraid of mold. But having a mold problem doesn’t mean the end of the world — or the end of your use and enjoyment of the property. It’s a serious issue, but there are seriously skilled people who can take action to eliminate your mold problem.

Mold removal and remediation is a job best left to experts if you want effective cleanup that completely eliminates mold and mildew and prevents it from returning. If done incorrectly, mold will simply return — and no one wants that.

When you choose the right mold remediation company for your home or business, a simple, hassle-free and cost-effective mold removal process really is possible.

Mold Is Almost Always A Health Hazard

No matter the type of building, mold is a serious issue. Not all molds are alike, but almost every mold type that grows in structures is dangerous and can cause health issues. And the range of possible health problems includes everything from hypersensitivity to severe respiratory complications. Some can even cause brain damage — or worse. That’s why professional mold remediation is so critical.

A number of factors can contribute to mold growth. All it needs to get started is moisture and food. The moisture can come from high humidity as well as plumbing leaks or flooding. The food can be your home or commercial building’s wood, paper or glue.

And worst of all, not all mold is visible. So if you think you may have had an issue at your home of office that could have provided the moisture mold needs to grow, it’s essential to get the issue checked out by professional mold removal and remediation specialists.

Solving Your Mold Issues For Good

Even if you don’t see mold growth, a musty smell could be a sign that it exists. It can be in the walls, the air or in hard-to-explore cracks and crevices. That’s why a complete mold checkup by experts in mold testing like our team at Absolutely Dry is so important.

Our team can test your building for mold using the latest tools and methods, then determine what kind of problems you have and how to treat them. Once a customized mold remediation plan is created for your property, the elimination can begin.

And you can be on the way to having everything clean, safe and ready for its intended use again.

Why not contact our team at Absolutely Dry right away for mold removal and remediation services you can trust? From the moment you first make contact with us, you’ll know you’re on the right track — the track toward a healthier indoor environment where you can spend your time with complete confidence.

Mold is a serious issue, but with serious solutions from Absolutely Dry, you’ll no longer have anything to worry about and you can get on with using your home or commercial building however you like.

Call (219) 465-9339 or 1-866-324-9300 and also visit www.absolutelydry.net. We Are Here For You!

By Absolutely Dry, Aug 31 2016 08:00PM

No matter what type of water damage you have at your home or business, there are tools and people who can take care of your problem for you. But using the wrong equipment, using it incorrectly or failing to complete the job can result in bad outcomes that can lead to addition damage over the long term.

The water damage restoration team you choose needs be an experienced firm with your best interests and complete satisfaction in mind. And they need to know the difference between water damage and flood damage.

Flood Damage And Water Damage Requires Urgent Attention

A flood isn’t the only thing that can lead to water damage. Your property can have water damage from leaky faucets, the slow leaking of water in from outside and many other causes that never actually result in a flood and each circumstance requires different methods to correct.

If you should have water damage of any kind at your home or business, the best course of action is to contact us at Absolutely Dry right away. If possible stop the flow of water immediately. Only the best water damage restoration and flood damage cleanup specialists know how to deal with every kind of situation to prevent further damage, dry what can be saved and remove building materials and possessions that must be discarded.

Absolutely Dry can meet your needs because we’re a licensed, insured and bonded company with a highly experienced and careful team that performs all our services up to and above the industry standard.

We Make Things Right Starting Immediately

So how quickly can we start to make things right? We can be onsite within an hour in most cases and almost always within an hour and a half after your call. After evaluating your property and the damage it has incurred, we can create a restoration plan that involves proper repairs and addresses all your concerns. Once all your questions are answered, the serious work of making things right can begin.

No matter the day or time of your call, our goal at Absolutely Dry is always to come quickly, provide reasonable pricing and do the job right to your complete satisfaction.

We understand that water damage is a stressful event for you, but you must understand how important it is to take immediate action to mitigate damage and get the process of water damage restoration started so that it can be completed as quickly as possible.

Water damage can destroy walls and floors, lead to mold and bacteria and create a dangerous and unhealthy situation in your home or commercial building if not properly stopped and repaired. And correcting the damage yourself is nearly impossible unless you’re a trained and experienced expert.

Why not contact us at Absolutely Dry, your full-service water damage restoration company?

From the moment we step onto your property, we’ll take charge and start you down the road toward complete restoration. It’s what we do for good people like you every day. Call us at (219) 465-9339 or 1-866-324-9300 you can also visit www.absolutelydry.net to learn more about how we can help you!

By Absolutely Dry, Aug 30 2016 08:50PM

Once the fire trucks are gone, your journey is just beginning. That’s because your home or business almost certainly suffered smoke and fire damage as well as possible water damage. But the professionals at Absolutely Dry have the skills and equipment necessary to restore your house or business to the way it was before the fire.

Each fire is different and every home requires its own specific approach, but the following is the general process we follow in a typical fire damage restoration situation:

1.Emergency response. When you make your call to us, the restoration process begins. Our customer service representative will ask the right questions so that we can respond quickly and bring along the right resources and equipment.

2.Inspection and assessment. We inspect the impacted area and adjoining rooms to find out the extent of the soot, smoke and other fire damage, and then we can develop our plan of action.

3.Securing the structure. Preventing further damage is essential, so we take immediate action to board up broken windows, shore up damaged walls and put tarps over damaged sections of the roof.

4.Water removal. When water damage is present, we immediately start water removal. Dehumidifiers and air movers are used to get all the water from your home or business and complete the drying process.

5.Surface soot and smoke removal. Using special equipment and time-tested techniques, we get rid of soot and smoke from the ceiling, all walls and other hard surfaces.

6.Cleaning and disinfecting. Restorable items require cleaning and sanitizing. A variety of cleaning products and techniques are used to accomplish this as appropriate. This process includes odor removal using foggers and industrial-strength air scrubbers.

7.Restoration. Getting things back to normal is the final step in the process. This can involve small repairs, drywall replacement, new carpet installation, painting and more. Major construction may sometimes also be required.

For an easy and hassle-free experience, trust Absolutely Dry to help manage everything for you, including the insurance claims process. Call (219) 465-9339 or 1-866-324-9300 for a quick response. We Are Here For You! Also visit www.absolutelydry.net to learn more about how we can help you.

By Absolutely Dry, Aug 25 2016 08:00PM

Disasters can happen quickly and most times without a warning. You never know when basic services, such as gas, electricity, water or telephones will be cut off. Your family must be prepared for this by preparing and planning. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility. Here are some ways to help to prepare your family in times of a disaster.

Learn What Disasters And Emergencies That Have The Possibility To Occur In Your Area.

Know what to prepare for by calling your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter. Learn what disasters can happen weather it’s manmade or natural and found out what are the best ways to prepare for each one. Find out what public warning systems your community has and what they sound like. Learn the disaster plans at your workplace, school, daycare, or other places where your family may spend a lot of time.

Create And Implement a Family Disaster Plan.

Set up a family meeting to discuss what plans need to be in place and the importance of the plan. Keep the plan simple enough for everybody to understand and follow. This is a team effort and everybody must know what part they play. Explain the dangers of the type of disasters that may occur in your area. Everybody should know what to do in each instance. By discussing everything before disaster strikes, it will allow everyone to be calm and execute the plan.

You then need to make sure you have two meeting places for your family incase everyone is not together. They should be familiar with the locations and know the address. Right outside of your home in case of a sudden emergency or outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t return home or are asked to leave your neighborhood. Separation will play a big factor if the disaster occurs during the times parents are at work and the children are at school. You need to have a plan of getting everybody together.

You should set a primary person outside of the disaster area as your family’s primary contact. Family members should call the contact and tell him or her where they are. Everyone must know the contact’s name, address and phone number. Find out about shelters in the contact’s area or arrange to stay with that contact if possible. Plan your escape routes and get familiar with them. You should always have alternate escape routes in place.

If you have pets plan on how you will care for them during a disaster. Unless you pet(s) are service animals they are not permitted to be in places where food is served, according to many local health department regulations. Plan where you would take your pets if you had to go to a public shelter where they are not permitted. Make sure you post all important phone numbers and emergency numbers next to all phones in your home.

Practice Makes Perfect.

Once you have your plan implemented it is important that you and your family practice it so it will become second nature when the time comes to use it. You may need to modify and change the plan a little over a period of time. Conducting actual drills with your family will help them be better prepared. You should drive all evacuation routes that is designated in your plan. This should be performed at least twice a year. Make sure to keep stored food and water. Also restock after six months to keep goods refreshed. Check your smoke alarms every month and run tests on them to insure they are working well. Replace batteries if needed. The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has recommended that you change out your fire alarms every ten years. Also make sure to test all fire extinguishers and make sure they are charged.