Preparedness at Home

Preparedness is everyone's responsibility. All sectors of society - business and industry, civic and volunteer groups, industry associations and neighborhood associations, as well as every individual citizen and every family - should plan ahead for disaster. During the first few hours or days following a disaster, essential services may not be available. People must be ready to act on their own. Here are some preparedness tips:

In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, break, fall, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.

  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections.
  • Fasten shelves securely and brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Place large, heavy objects, on lower shelves.
  • Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds
  • Strap water heaters to wall studs.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products away from heat sources.
  • Place oily polishing rags or waste in covered metal cans. Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and gas vents.
  • Plan two escape routes out of each room.
  • Practice fire drills at least twice per year.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the ground when escaping from a fire.
  • Teach family members never to open doors that are hot. In a fire, feel the bottom of the door with the palm of your hand. If it is hot, do not open the door. Find another way out.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Clean and test them at least once per month. Change the batteries at least once per year.
  • Check electrical outlets. Do not overload outlets.
  • Purchase and learn how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Have a collapsible ladder on each upper floor of your house.
  • Plan two escape routes out of the basement.
  • Consider installing home sprinklers.
For more information on fire safety, visit Seward County Fire Department's website.