Emergency situations such as fire, extreme weather and power outages can happen without warning. By taking the time to prepare for a possible disaster, you and your family will be equipped to handle a crisis if one ever occurs.
Fire Safety, Escape Routes and Meeting Spots
• We suggest having a fire extinguisher on each floor, and check them annually to make sure they’re functioning properly.
• Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in each room and tested once a month. Use long-life lithium batteries to cut back on replacements.
• It is important to have an escape plan for yourself and your family, it could only take a mere five minutes for a fire to engulf your entire home. Ensure to include at least two exit routes in case one is blocked, and designate a safe location for your household to meet.
Emergencies are easier to handle when you have prepared ahead of time. Have a go bag ready if you must shelter in or evacuate your home. Make sure that your go bag is easy to carry and easy to get to.
What to Include in Your Go Bag, Home Safety Items and Tips
• Battery powered radio and extra batteries
• Flashlight with Extra Batteries
• Lightweight blankets
• Emergency information, including insurance policies, blood type, and emergency contacts
• A list of medications and correct dosage, and doctor’s names
• Personal items such as toothbrushes, soap, extra glasses, etc.
• First-Aid kit- (This would also be a good idea to store in a central location in your home, such as the kitchen, and make sure everyone knows where it is)
• Change of clothing
• Nonperishable snacks (At least a three-day supply for each member in the household)
• Water (At least a three-day supply for each member in the household. During an emergency, you should drink at least two quarts of water a day. Drink 3-4 quarts a day if you are in a hot climate, pregnant, sick, or a child. If you buy commercially bottles water, it should be replaced once a year. Store your water in a cool, dark place to keep it tasting fresher longer.)
• Books, cards or magazines to pass the time
There’s often very little time to react to a crisis. Meet with your family or household members to discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team. The unknown often causes more anxiety than knowing the facts. With a little planning and prep work, you can be well-equipped and ready to respond to emergencies accordingly.
Winter is time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of friendly hand and for talk beside the fire. It is the time for home.
We at The Brittany’s would like to share some tips with you on how to stay safe this winter, so you make it home safe. No one’s kidding when they say Minnesota winter’s aren’t for the weak, they can get brutal. If you travel during the wintertime we suggest investing in a winter survival emergency kit to keep in your car. Everyone should carry one in case of an emergency, it could save your life and the lives of your passengers.
Here is what you will need in you winter survival kit
- A shovel
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Battery powered radio
- Snack food including energy bars
- Extra warm clothes, hats, socks, boots, and mittens
- First aid kit with pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Blankets or sleeping bag
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares and reflectors
- Fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
- Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter , cell phone charger
- Hand and toe warmers
- Lighter or water proof matches
- Ice melting windshield fluid
Store items in the passenger compartment in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut.
Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.
If possible, call 911 on your cell phone. Provide your location, condition of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you’re experiencing.
Follow instructions: you may be told to stay where you are until help arrives.
Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
If you must leave the vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see.
Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full.
Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take.
If stuck: Tie a florescent flag (from your kit) on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance. To reduce battery drain, use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles. If you’re with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake and keeping watch for help at all times.
Stay in your vehicle: Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk a heart attack or injury. That work can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
Fresh Air: It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.
Don’t expect to be comfortable: You want to survive until you’re found.