In Day 2 of our Let’s Get Prepared! Challenge, we’re staying focused on assessing risk. While our first day in this phase focused on the disasters or emergencies we might be prone to because of our geography, today we’re focusing on the risks in our own homes and on our own properties. This would allow us to consider not only “what would happen if a tornado or an earthquake or a hurricane hit?” but also, “What could go wrong here even on a beautiful day? Fire? Pipe Burst? Fallen tree?”
We can’t prevent everything from happening, but we can help our future selves out by trying to identify our vulnerabilities, and taking steps to improve them, whenever possible.
Assessing the risk of your home is something that’s specific to your property, your dwelling, your possessions.
- Review your grounds and home. Walk around, with a critical eye. Better Yet: have someone who doesn’t live at your home walk with you. We become blind to our surroundings, but someone with fresh eyes can see what we cannot. Here are some example questions:
- What could fall inside your home? Are top-heavy pieces of furniture affixed to the wall?
- Are exits blocked by furniture or pile or other obstructions?
- What is a fire hazard? Lots of plugs in one outlet?
- What could cause flooding if it breaks?
- Is your roof or gutters in need of repair?
- Can you access all emergency shut-offs in your home (water and electricity)?
- Do you have a lot of brush or dry vegetation around your home?
- Do you have operating smoke alarms in every floor of your home?
- Does anyone smoke (traditional or electronic) in your home?
- Consider a consultation performed by a professional.
- Have an arborist take a look at the trees on your property to see which may be vulnerable to collapsing
- Hire an inspector or an insurance appraiser to identify concerns in your home
- Bring in a fire inspector to identify risks related to fire
- Bring in a plumber or HVAC expert to take a look at systems that pose risk, like an older water heater or frail pipes
Walk your home, potentially with someone else who doesn’t live at your home, and make a list of items that appear to be unsafe or could pose risk in an emergency. (For now, we’re making the list. We’ll come back to this list later, but, by all means, if you’re ready to start fixing these items, Let’s Get Prepared!)
Join in the conversation over at the Clever Girl Organizing Challenge Facebook Group to learn from and to teach others as we all take on the Let’s Get Prepared! Challenge!
Reminder: Our goal here is to take steps towards improvement. The content in these posts is designed to inspire thinking, not fear.