The Do 1 Thing site won the Awareness to Action category of FEMA’s 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. It’s a 12-month program of small steps that you can take to increase your personal and household preparedness. Throughout 2015, DEM will feature Do 1 Thing items during our weekly blog post series of One Thing Wednesdays. Check back here every week for a new preparedness activity or tip!
Once you know what disasters could happen in your community (and you should if you followed last week’s One Thing Wednesday post), there are things you can do to lower your risk of injury or property damage. Here are some suggestions.
Tornado – Add a tornado safe room to your home, or add extra protection to an existing room to keep your family safe in a tornado. For more information, download FEMA Publication 320: Taking Shelter from the Storm.
Wildfire – Use fire-resistant shingles, siding, and other building materials. Cut back branches and brush and control landscaping within 30 feet of your home. Store firewood at least 30 feet away. For more ideas, check into the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program.
Flood – Elevate your home above the base flood level or take steps to floodproof. Elevate your utilities above the base flood level. Make sure you have adequate flood venting. When you build or remodel, use flood-resistant building materials and take potential flooding into account in your plans. Talk to your insurance agent to see if these or other actions can lower your flood insurance rates.
Earthquake – Secure your furniture, appliances, and water heater to walls and floors. Install safety catches on cabinets and cupboard doors. Make sure your appliances are connected with flexible connections. Consider using a safety film on your windows or installing laminated glass to prevent injuries from broken glass (this also can mitigate damage from windborne debris in a windstorm or tornado).