Earthquake Tip: Drop, Cover and Hold On!

National Preparedness Month Tip of the Day: Planning and holding earthquake drills will help safeguard your family.

9-16-2013-earthequake

Before an Earthquake Strikes: 

  • Plan and hold earthquake drills with your family.
  • Choose a location where family members will meet if separated during the quake.

Make Your Home Safer:

  • Strap water heaters, appliances and TVs to wall studs.
  • Secure pictures, mirrors and ornaments to the wall with appropriate fasteners.
  • Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas and water services.
  • Assemble disaster survival kits to last at least 72 hours for each person in the house.
  • Check with local emergency managers for additional tips and safety training.

During an Earthquake: 

  • Keep calm. Expect the earthquake to last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • If indoors, stay there until the shaking stops. Make sure to drop down to the floor and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or an interior wall. Hold onto the furniture and keep your position.
  • If outdoors, move into an open area away from trees, buildings, utility wires or signs. Stay in the open until the shaking stops.

After an Earthquake: 

  • Check for injuries.
  • Don’t move injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.
  • Turn on your TV or radio for emergency information and instructions.
  • Check utilities for gas and/or water leaks, or broken electrical connections.
  • Be prepared to turn off utilities in the event they are damaged.
  • Clean up medications, cleaning products and/or flammable liquids.
  • Check food and water supplies.
  • Open cabinets carefully to avoid objects falling out.

Winter Weather Tips

Super heroes drip faucets so pipes don’t burst when the temperatures drop.

Winter Weather Tip

When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture almost any pipe filled with water. When the pipe bursts it can spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in the second most common cause of home insurance claims in America.

With just three simple steps, families can protect themselves from this costly damage.  Remember:  FOAM, DOME, DRIP.

FOAM:  Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts.  For as little as $1 per 6’ of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy.

DOME:  Placing an insulating dome or other coverings on outdoor faucets and spigots also reduces the likelihood of the water in your homes pipes freezing, expanding and causing a costly leak.

DRIP:  Drip your faucets to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes.  Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture.  If you are going out of town and suspect the temperatures will drop, turn off the water to your home and open all of the taps to drain the water system. This way you won’t return to a frozen, soggy mess.

For more information on protecting your home from extreme cold conditions, visit www.flash.org. For severe weather alerts and mitigation tips, download FLASH Weather Alerts at www.flashweatheralerts.org.

National Prep Month Tip of the Day: Flood

Did you know that homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood? Purchase a policy today.

9-13-2013

Who Can Have Flood Insurance

Flooding causes more than 90 percent of all disaster-related property damage in the United States but homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. Because of this, homeowners need flood insurance — a special policy backed by the federal government, with cooperation from local communities and private insurance companies. About 200 insurance companies, possibly including the company that already handles your homeowners insurance, write and service flood insurance policies for the government, which finances the program through premiums.

Although flood insurance is relatively inexpensive, most Americans neglect to purchase protection.

National Flood Insurance Program

Only about one-quarter of the homes in areas most vulnerable are insured against flood loss, according to the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA). In those areas, flooding is 26 times more likely to occur than a fire during the course of a typical 30-year mortgage. More than 19,000 communities have agreed to stricter zoning and building measures to control floods, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Residents in these communities are entitled to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a FEMA program oversees.

30 Day Waiting Period

An important fact to know is that a flood insurance policy does not take effect until 30 days after you purchase it. So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you run to purchase coverage, it’s already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood. To see if your community participates in NFIP and for more information about federal flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Wildfire Safety Tip

Be your home’s hero and clean your gutters, eaves and roof to make sure they are clear of debris.

Wildfire Safety Tip

Additional Wildfire Safety Tips

Protect Your Home

  • Clean your gutters, eaves and roof to make sure they are clear of debris
  • Make sure your street number is legible and clearly marked for emergency responders
  • Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can become ignited from windblown embers, including:
    • Dead grass, leaves, etc. (fine fuels) and dead twigs, branches, etc. (coarse fuels) within 30 feet of buildings
    • Dry leaf/pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways
    • Dead and dry litter at the base of plants
    • Tree branches (ladder fuels) within 6-10 feet of the ground
    • Firewood within 30 feet of buildings
    • Continuous beds of combustible vegetation (on the ground or in tree tops) that can bring large flames within 100 feet of your home
    • Identify an emergency water supply for firefighting within 1,000 feet of your home through one of the following:
      • Community water/hydrant system, and/or
      • Drafting site on a lake
      • Cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors
      • Swimming pool

Prepare Your Family

 

For more information on wildfire prevention visit www.flash.org.  For mobile wildfire alerts and mitigation tips, download FLASH Weather Alerts at www.flashweatheralerts.org.