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How to Prepare Your Home and Family for a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters refer to weather and environmental conditions that cause destruction. Depending on where you live, you might live through an earthquake, hurricane, wildfire or tornado. Those disasters can leave you stuck at home without running water and without power for days or even weeks. Even if you decide to move away until the city or county restores water and power, you will feel much more confident about heading back home when you know how to prepare both your family and home for one of these events.

Create Emergency Kits for Each Family Member

Each member of your family should have an emergency kit ready and waiting for him or her when a natural disaster strikes. This kit must include bottled water and enough food to last for at least two days. You can customize those kits based on individual relatives. Add a few books, games or toys to the kits that your kids will use and a few favorite snacks into a teenager's kit. Create an emergency kit for the four-legged members of your family too that include travel food and water bowls and some food.

Find Emergency Shut Off Valves

Before an emergency occurs, you should locate the emergency shut off valves in your home and make sure that you understand how to use each one. The shut off to your home's electrical system will likely be outside and near your box, but it may be closer to your circuit breaker. Your home's water shut off valve will either be in the basement or on the first floor and close to where the water line comes in from the street. Toilets have water shut off valves that you can turn off too.

Plan for Water and Power Outages

Planning for water and power outages can minimize the impact a natural disaster has on your home. Installing a commercial water softener in Michigan or another state is a smart way to filter out the impurities in your water supply that can build up when the water is shut off. A water softener can remove hard water deposits and even rust. You'll want to keep enough water on hand to hydrate your family until the water comes back and have lanterns and flashlights handy too. The more time that you spend preparing for a natural disaster, the less impact that event will have on your home and family.

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Photo credit: Lucy Chian

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