Lives can be turned upside down by natural disasters, from earthquakes and fires to hurricanes and tornadoes and other human-caused disasters. Your best defense is emergency preparedness is having a plan and knowing the steps to take so that you and your family will be ready if disaster strikes. Has your family put these emergency preparedness basics in place? So here are things to do when disaster strikes. And always, rely on ServiceMaster of the Upstate to carry you through this time of need.
Have a family emergency plan. Sit down and talk about the emergencies that are most likely to happen in your area. Determine how your family will react in each situation.
Assemble an emergency kit. In a tote or other easy-to-carry bag, store copies of important documents such as birth certificates, photo identification, medical cards, cash and extra checks, spare keys, a list of important phone numbers, an extra supply of prescription medications, a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food (don’t forget pet food), a first aid kit, a flashlight, matches, blankets, and changes of clothing.
Keep your gas tank filled. Since you will likely need your automobile to evacuate your area, it is a good rule of thumb to always refill your gas tank when it dips below half.
Here are emergency preparedness specifics for each of the following types of disasters:
- Earthquake. “Drop, take cover, and hold on.” When the earthquake is over, follow the instructions of local authorities and put your family’s emergency plan into place.
- Fire evacuation. Have a fire evacuation plan for your family with multiple routes of escape from all rooms of the house. If you live in a multi-level home, consider installing escape ladders in the upper levels. If a fire occurs, get out immediately. Do not put yourself in danger by placing a phone call or gathering your valuables.
- Flood. Listen to the TV or radio for information on where the flooding is happening. In the case of a flood warning in your area, you may be advised to evacuate; in this case, do so immediately. If you are under a flash flood warning, seek higher ground immediately.
- Hurricane. If you live in a Carolina and Georgia coastal area, have a hurricane plan in place with supplies to cover your home’s windows and secure outdoor objects. If a hurricane is approaching, listen to a local TV or radio station to stay informed, and be prepared to evacuate. Before you leave your home, remember to turn off your utilities and propane tanks as recommended. After the storm, contact ServiceMaster of the Upstate for all clean up and repairs.
- Tornado. You should be prepared for a tornado no matter where you live. In a tornado situation, take shelter in a basement, storm cellar, or the most interior room of your home. Stay away from windows, doors, and exterior walls. If you are outside and cannot get to shelter, lie flat in a ditch or other low location.
By planning and practicing with your family about what you will do and where you will go in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency, you will increase your chances of safety. Your home is a place that not only provides you and your family shelter, but it is a structure that holds all of your family’s memories. Because the stakes are so high, water damage from a storm is scary. After the storm clears, it can often seem as though your home was hit by a bulldozer, and you might think there is no possible way your house can be repaired to what it once was. Luckily, while this is not an uncommon thought, it is incorrect. Nobody wants to lose the place where they feel safe and loved, and we at ServiceMaster of the Upstate are no exception.
If you are in need of immediate services due to water or storm damage, please call our emergency line at (864) 310-7891, and we will be available to you as soon as possible. We are dedicated to our customers and our community, and we will do everything in our power to restore your home to a pre-damage condition in the event of a storm, hurricane, or any disaster.