You already know that having a plan in place to protect your family and your home in an emergency is important. But where do you start? In the following article, you’ll learn some helpful tips to protect your home and family in an emergency.

Fires and floods

Make sure you change the batteries in your smoke detectors whenever they get low. Smoke detectors should start beeping loudly if a battery starts getting low. Keep a few 9-volt batteries on hand in such cases — these are usually the batteries that these devices use.

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Talk to your family about proper kitchen safety for operating the stove, oven, and using matches; this is where the majority of house fires begin. Also, talk to your family about where go to if your home experiences a fire. Have a designated meeting place a safe distance away from the house and make sure there are means to get out of second- and third-story windows. You can find collapsible emergency escape ladders from stores such as Amazon or Walmart.

A fire-resistant, waterproof safe is also a must for important documents, firearms, or other critical items. When looking for a safe, make sure to specifically ask the seller if it’s fireproof or waterproof. In the event of a fire or flood, this safe could protect important documents such as insurance information, titles, wills, or other items. Keep the key on a key ring that you’ll always have on your person, and keep a spare somewhere safe and hidden just in case.

You’ll need to know how water flows in your house in case of a flood. Make sure you understand where important pipes are, and make sure water heaters, sinks, tubs, and the dishwasher are functioning properly. Call your local plumber to come over and take a look. Also, ask your local environmental services department how water flows around your home. They can survey your property to see if your landscaping needs to be altered to further prevent flooding. In the meantime, make sure valuable items are kept upstairs and off the floor if possible.

Break-ins

This one is obvious, but consider a home security system to deter break-ins. Many potential burglars have passed up homes because of a home security sign by the front porch or in the front yard. These burglars want targets that can be entered easily, so the presence of a security system sign alone will help.

Also, many home security systems are equipped with indoor cameras that can be monitored from a smartphone or tablet. This makes monitoring your kids or pets while you’re away even easier. Cloud storage also makes it a possibility to review footage for a period of time. Make sure you go with a company like Protect America that offers full-HD video cameras and mobile device access.

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Whether you have a home security system or not, here are some things you should always do to protect your home from break-ins:

  • Lock your doors and windows when you leave, even second-story windows
  • Put things by windows that would be hard to climb over
  • Get to know your neighbors and, if they’re trustworthy, ask them to keep an eye on things when you’re away
  • Keep a light or a TV on to give the illusion of an attended home

Home warranty

Break-ins, floods, and fires are top-tier emergencies, but what about the occasional appliance breaking down? Depending on the situation, this could be an emergency in and of itself. Signing a contract with a home warranty company can ensure that your appliances get fixed at a low rate if they ever break down. This includes washers, dryers, dishwashers, stoves, pools, air conditioning, and heating among other things. You can find a list of the best home warranty companies here.