How to: Prepare your home for an emergency

How to: Prepare your home for an emergency

Learn how to properly prepare your home for an emergency. Author: iStockphoto


How to: Prepare your home for an emergency

Follow these simple, proactive measures to ensure your home is prepared for anything Mother Nature can throw your way.

No one wants to find themselves in an emergency situation, so it’s important to prepare your home as best as possible. Since there’s nothing you can do to stop Mother Nature, here are a few small, proactive measures you can take to help keep damages at bay.



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1 Clean the gutters
Overflowing gutters are one of the major causes of water finding its way into homes. If your downspouts are leaky, in disrepair or nonexistent, heavy snow and rain will go right into your foundation. Cleaning your gutters and repairing your downspouts should be on your annual maintenance list, and consider investing in gutter covers or screens to keep leaves out.

2 Fire-rate your home
Proper fire separation between floors will help contain smoke and flames, as will fire-rated doors. Roxul Safe‘n’Sound insulation is a product I use in all my renovations because it resists temperatures up to approximately 1,177°C, helping to prevent a fire from spreading and providing you valuable time to escape.

3 Seal the cracks
Everyone thinks foundation cracks are scary – and sometimes they are – but they’re usually just signs of an aging home and not indicative of structural issues. However, those cracks could compromise the dryness of your basement in a storm, so have them sealed with epoxy injections. They cost about $500 per crack, which is a lot cheaper than gutting your basement because of a flood!

Affordable solutions
Money tight? These inexpensive items will help keep you and your home protected.

Backup sump pump
If your home loses power due to flooding, a battery powered backup sump pump will help keep the water out of your basement. This is ideal if it’s a finished basement.

Gas-powered generator
This is a great backup source to have on hand in case of a blackout. A generator is especially useful for long power outages in the winter.

Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
from $50
Severe storms can result in secondary emergencies like fires and gas leaks, so outfitting your home with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor will help ensure maximum safety at home.


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How to: Prepare your home for an emergency