Preparing for Disaster in your Home

Originally published on April 8, 2015

When disaster strikes your home, your normal, everyday way of life is significantly disrupted. How you and your family respond has a great deal to do with your readiness plans.

Much of the work done by our partners at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) educates the public and helps individuals and families create emergency plans, prepare for crisis and know what to do in the event of a tornado, flood, fire or storm.

Here are a few tips and a few resources to explore:

Safe Record Keeping

Your important documents (such as birth certificates, social security cards, etc.) can be difficult to replace. Keeping these documents and your latest insurance and other financial information in a safe place will make the days following a disaster a little easier.

You will also want to ensure you have important, sentimental items in safe keeping. Photos, mementos and other items may not be replaceable. Though life is most important, consider how to protect those important, personal items.

Prepare Your Home

Many home fires are the result of a problem or issue that may have been prevented. Take a look around your home for potential hazards and work to fix these issues.

Replace broken smoke detectors and update batteries, ensure you follow manufacturers’ guidelines with generators or supplemental heating sources, and maintain your home to avoid issues such as frozen or broken pipes or accidental fires. Also ensure any contractors making repairs or doing work on your home follow proper protocol.

For senior adults, and churches who have populations of seniors, there are a number of additional resources available on our website specifically for seniors.

According to Knight-Ridder News, 15% of the New Orleans population prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were older adults; however, this group made up 74% of the victims of the hurricanes.

Ready Virginia

Make an emergency plan with your family, assemble needed supplies and receive the latest alerts and notifications about severe weather.

VDEM has other resources available online at Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Your home is an important resource. Being a good steward of this great resource will allow you to better serve your community, invest in your church and disciple your family. Take the time to prepare as best you can.

Learn more about Virginia Baptist Disaster Response and find out how you can join response efforts across the state and throughout North America.

Contact our office to learn more about responding as a church in your community, and read the rest of this preparedness series.