September is Preparedness Month: Is Your Chicago Real Estate Ready?

September 03, 2011

Is your Chicago real estate prepared for an emergency?

September is National Preparedness Month, and thousands of organizations across the state and country are promoting emergency preparedness all month long.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can get prepared for an emergency through four steps:

emergency kit*Get a kit.

*Make a plan.

*Be informed.

*Get involved.

The Kit

If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to electricity, water and food.

The CDC recommends that all residents store a food and water supply in their homes that will last anywhere from three days to up to two weeks.

The average person needs to drink at least a half gallon of water each day. Storing an additional half-gallon per person, per day will also help you cover food prep and hygiene needs.

You don’t need to go out and buy food for this project, just assemble some non-perishable foods for your kit. If you have canned goods, remember to include a manual can opener!

Don’t forget your pets: They need food and water as well.

Other items to place in your kit:


*Battery-powered radio

*First-aid kit

*Extra blankets

*Lots of working batteries

*Rubber or working gloves

The Plan

Having a plan before emergency strikes will help you cope with what comes your way in a calmer, more efficient manner. Involve your family members in the creation of the plan, and practice it, just like students practice fire drills at school.

Other steps to creating the plan:

*Teach your children how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

*Determine the best escape routes from your home and each of your rooms.

*Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.

*Find the safest spots in your home for each type of disaster.

*Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

*Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, and show each family member how to use it.

*Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on each floor of your home, especially near bedrooms.

Be Informed

This is easier for today’s residents, because there are so many outlets for communication. Even if you lose power, your cordless or wireless phone should still work. Tune in to the radio, TV or websites to find out what’s going on outside your door.

Visit Ready America for resources that can assist in emergencies.

Get Involved

Going through all these steps before a disaster hits is getting involved and being prepared.

If you want to take it even further, consider these steps:

*Take a first-aid course or emergency response training.

*Contact Citizens Corps, which coordinates activities to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to handle emergency situations.

*Find checklists, brochures and videos on emergency preparedness by visiting the Homeland Security website or by calling (800) BE-READY.

*Practice your escape plans at least twice a year, and replenish your food and water supply every three to six months.

Hopefully, you will never experience an emergency. But if you do, you should be prepared.

Categories: Education

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