When Disaster Strikes

How to make your home more disaster resistant with maintenance and repairs?

As homeowners, we know that no home is completely disaster-proof. However, we can take many steps that might make all the difference to prepare our homes for events that may be unpredictable or beyond our control.

We often see the impact of such preparations on the news: When catastrophe strikes, there are often stark differences in how neighboring properties fare. Some homes are devastated while others sustain only minor damage. So what’s the difference between properties?

Exploring recent examples of disaster-related property damage can help us learn more about the updates our own homes might need.

How to make your home more disaster resistant?



Recipes for Disaster (An Emergency Preparedness Cookbook)


What Do You Need In A Survival Kit?

Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

Take the short quiz to test your knowledge, and see the  full list of recommended supplies.




How to prepare for a Winter Storm

Be Ready for the Next Winter Storm with a Family Emergency Communication Plan

With winter in full swing, prepare for storms of ice, snow, and bitter cold. This year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released an updated How to Prepare for a Winter Storm Guide. The guide includes a preparedness checklist, tips to stay healthy and warm, and a winter weather check for your car. There are also actions to protect your home and reduce property damage.

When the Fire Starts

Watch a fun, new animation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to learn about wildfire preparedness. The video illustrates what you should do before, during, and after a wildfire. Watch it now!

For more information on wildfire preparedness, visit the Prepareathon website. You may also find additional hazard-specific animations on FEMA’s YouTube Channel.

When the Clouds Form

Learn flood preparedness with this fun, new video. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a 90-second animation that illustrates what you should do before, during, and after a flood. Watch it today!

For more information on flood preparedness, visit the Prepareathon website. You may also find additional hazard-specific animations on FEMA’s YouTube Channel

Summer Food Safety

Summer Food SafetyWhen planning a picnic, barbecue, or day at the beach this summer, learn how to keep your food safe. 

According to FoodSafety.gov, foodborne illnesses increase during the summer. Stay healthy and safe during warmer months by following these food safety recommendations:


When bringing food to a picnic or cookout:

  • Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. You can also use frozen food as a cold source.
  • Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, or seafood); cut up fruit and vegetables; and perishable dairy products.
  • Keep your cooler out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Remember that a full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one. 
  • Avoid opening the cooler repeatedly to keep your food cold longer.

When cooking on the grill:

  • Prevent cross-contamination from raw meat or poultry juices by washing counter tops and sinks with hot, soapy water. Wash hands after handling raw meat or poultry or its packaging because anything you touch afterwards could become contaminated.
  • Keep perishable food cold until it is ready to cook.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly to their safe minimum internal temperatures.
  • Always use a fresh, clean plate and tongs for serving cooked food. Never reuse items that touched raw meat or poultry to serve cooked food.

When serving food outdoors:

  • Do not sit perishable food out for more than two hours.  In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should NEVER sit out for more than one hour.
  • Serve cold food in small portions, and keep the rest in the cooler. 
  • After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it hot until served – at 140°F or warmer.
  • Keep hot food hot by setting it to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook.

For more information, visit www.foodsafety.gov and learn fire safety for your next barbecue from the U.S. Fire Administration.  

 How will Your Family Evacuate?

Create an Emergency PlanAs coastal areas pay close attention to hurricane season and many other areas of the country experience wildfires, now is a great time to develop an evacuation plan with your family, and practice it to ensure you know what to do should an emergency occur. In some circumstances, local officials decide that the hazards are serious and require mandatory evacuations.

Wherever you live, knowing what to do in the event you need to leave your home is critical. Review these evacuation guidelines from the Ready Campaign and develop your plan now:

  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Develop an emergency communication plan to decide these locations before a disaster.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle at all times in case you need to evacuate.
  • Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions, so you have options in an emergency.
  • Plan how you will leave if you do not have a car.  Make arrangements with family, friends, or your local government.
  • Take your emergency supply kit with you.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that some public shelters may only admit service animals. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
  • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions, and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas, and electricity before leaving.

The FEMA mobile App can also help you create an evacuation plan, make an emergency supply list, and provide you with weather alerts from the National Weather Service. Take action today to prepare for an emergency. 

QuakeSmart for Business

“With earthquakes, it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.” This video message from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) illustrates the unpredictability of earthquakes and the impact tremors can have on businesses. Therefore, it is important for business owners to take steps to the ensure safety of their employees and customers.

FEMA and FLASH created the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program to walk business owners through a step-by-step process to:

In addition, the program allows employers to apply for recognition as a member of the QuakeSmart Community. Benefits of participating in the program include:

  • A QuakeSmart Resilient Community Member window cling to announce to customers and employees that you’ve taken steps to secure your business;
  • A QuakeSmart Resilient Community Member web badge to display on your company website; and
  • A sample news release to announce your participation in the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program.

The Small Business Association estimates that 75 percent of organizations without a continuity plan will fail within three years of a disaster. Get prepared by joining the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program today! Employers can also find valuable information in the America’s PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook, which provides businesses with tools and resources to support preparedness discussions, tabletop exercises, and more. 

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