Keeping Your Home Prepared

What do your do to keep you home prepared for a natural disaster? Please let us know which types of risks there are where you live, i.e. blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes. Post your ideas below.


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September 7, 20040 found this helpful

I live in Florida and since hurricane Frances I can definitely say Coleman lanterns are the best. We had two of them and they lit up the whole room and they are not expensive to run. They can burn gas or Coleman fuel. Candles are great but they are such a fire hazard. Lucky for us we were only out of power for a whole night and these lanterns kept us in the light for the night. Also Bottled Water: I store water but I also bought bottle water because it will last till next time without out worrying about adding chlorine. I bought a 24 pack of cheap bottled water at Wal-Mart. Also stocked up on peanut butter, crackers, vienna sausage things that can be eaten without heating up.

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By RoseMary (Guest Post)
September 8, 20040 found this helpful

We live in Colorado and since we don't have any of the major weather problems. We were affected by the fire that happened in our area a few years ago, the Iron Mountain fire of 2001. Our home was not affected however, no power was able to get to us for days. I was able to get to work on Monday not able to get back home, so my husband and daughter who was 18 at the time were left to themselves. Thankfully my husband had the foresight to have a generator and also have our mobile home set to be able to receive power from the generator. It was used only to run the pump for our well and keep things cold in our freezer and refrigerator. Since we can get snowed in here too and are 30 miles from town we also keep additional food and other needed items in a pantry area and don't use them unless needed.


We also have fireplace for heat because many times in the winter our power is out for days because of downed lines from the snow. Having a fireplace has kept us from getting cold. Many times we had to sleep in the living room, but at least we were warm. Also, batteries and candles. We use the flashlights just when needed otherwise the candles are used for light. We always check our supply of items we might need and keep them stocked and rotated. So many times we have had to rely on some of them. And, I thought my husband was silly when we bought the generator and he said to stock those items. I'm thankful now.

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September 12, 20040 found this helpful

Tornados are often a result of fall and early springin Texas where I used to live. Just a reminder that opeing windows during a tornado will cause the roof to be torn off from the pressure. I remember the time we barely made it in the house, and shut the door on the tornado's eye, or low pressure. The door was hard to close, but it saved our house.


The bathroom will probably have water on the ground if the toilet lid is left open, so watch not to touch any outlets or switches.

The low pressure takes the pipe that releases pressure from the roof and foces pressure down it until the water the toilet sprays is really weird, one more reason to keep the toilet flushed and the seat down.

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September 13, 20040 found this helpful

I also live in Florida and when our power went out for 36 hours the coleman lanterns were indespensible, though they did heat up the living room so much we had to switch to flashlights until the room cooled down again. We also have a coleman gas stove burner which again, was a great for heating up all that canned food.


One other thing we found was very useful was a large supply of cheap baby wipes (storebrand, unscented) and clorox wipes. These were helpful because we have a well that only operates when the electricity is on to pump the water to the house.

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By Mimi from GA (Guest Post)
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

We have had difficulties with losing power thru the hurricane season this year. We keep plenty of batteries, canned goods and extra water on hand. We have also learned to fill bathtubs and other large containers with water for washing and cleaning. I keep bleach on hand to keep things sanitary and I do keep some paper plates, cups and plasticware on hand "just in case". We do take extra precautions to make sure EVERYTHING is super clean during these times. Baby wipes and clorox wipes are wonderful! We also have pets so i do keep plenty of their food on hand. They should not have diet changes during the stress that the bad weather brings.


For winter storms and outages, my husband keeps plenty of fire wood chopped. We use our fireplace for heat and stay very cozy. I have even learned to do a little cooking with the fire even though we have a gas stove.We also make sure that our cars are topped off with gasoline if we know that a storm is coming. Gas pumps need electricity to run and you never know when you will need to go to the dr or to help a neighbor or friend. i also make a point of insuring that our cell phones are fully charged as we normally lose phone service when we lose our electricity. These times are aggravating but not much more than that if we stay prepared.

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January 3, 20050 found this helpful

Well We live in Central Pennsylvania. Not many natural diasters get to us .A smaal Tornado now and then . Floods from a Hurricane every so many years ,and spring flooding from Ice Jams which happen less oftren these days.


I would say Eletrical Outages would be the most common th9ing for Us.

We have Candles Lamp Oil Lights. Flash lites. A gas stove,Portable radio,and plenty of can food and maybe 5 gallons of water.
The Toilet is our main problem. I have five gallons of water for it That is it. Even my landlords Well has electric pumps .
We also have a first aid kit where we can get it,
Several packs of playing cards ,and a host of books and old magazines

So we stand to lose our freezer meat after severals days and our bathroom facilities return to the days of old outhouse.
A note
In 20 some years at my address Only once was our electric out for more then a day.Knock On Wood!

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January 25, 20050 found this helpful

I save water for emergencies such as power outages, etc. The best bottles to save water in are gallon bleach containers. I wash these very well and pour the contents down a sink or commode to freshen it, then fill the gallon almost full with fresh water. In case my freezer is not very full with food, I add these bottles to help cut down on electricity used to keep the food cold. The water is fine and tasty when I unthaw the bottles. For safety, a drop or two of bleach should be added to all containers in which you save water. I take care of that by using the bleach bottles.

By Linda

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January 25, 20050 found this helpful

Southwestern Missouri-- we can get tornadoes during the spring/early summer and ice storms during the winter. Aside from the risk of being blown away in a tornado, the biggest thing we have to prepare for is loss of electricity. We keep a few gallons of water on hand because being on a well we have no way to get water (to drink or to flush with) without electricity. If we get a few hours of warning before an ice storm or heavy snow, I will fill the bathtub with water just for flushing.

We have a solar powered radio.

We also have several battery powered lamps and flashlights as well as six or seven oil lamps and a supply of lamp oil. We heat with wood so heat and cooking aren't a terribly huge problem during an electrical outage, although we may be confined to the living room. And we have invested in a generator to run one or two major appliances (freezer, refrigerator, or well) for a period of time in case of an extended electrical outage.

We also have a well supplied pantry in case the roads to town and the store are impassable after an ice storm or bad snow.

I try to keep an extra bottle of bleach on hand to use to purify water if that becomes necessary -- but I've never had to do that so far.

Thanks for the tip to keep the toilet lid closed during a tornado -- I had never heard that one before!

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By (Guest Post)
January 26, 20050 found this helpful

We live in Tennessee and have had some close calls with the tornadoes. We keep the "usual" emergency items as well. However, the safest place in our home is also the master bedroom closet. So, I have to keep it neat and organized for everyone (including our pets) to get into. It's something you "normally" wouldn't think about in a time of emergency!

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January 26, 20050 found this helpful

We live in So.Ca.and we have learned to keep a change of clothes AND walking shoes in our cars. In case we are at work or on the road during an earthquake.We also keep bottled water & food/cereal bars in the cars.Small amount of cash,wash cloth,bar of soap & towel in a ziplock bag.Matches and candle,flashlight that has radio& emergency flashing light.First aid kit.When we had animals we included dry food and dish for them.Instant coffee & creamer tea and salt,pepper & sugar in plastic leak proof containers.A whistle, address book/phone #'s , pin, paper to leave notes in case of evacuation.We were surrounded by the fire in Oct 2003.and no road out. We were lucky that we live across the freeway from the Reagan Library and the water dropping choppers kept that safe and us too.But being prepared is comforting when the world around you is in a state of confusion.Might want to keep a mask around also.That smoke about did me in. The picture was taken about 2:30 in the afternoon. BE Safe

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January 26, 20050 found this helpful

Me again, I forgot a few things for the car. Jacket,
extra socks,a weeks supply of all meds. roll of paper towels ,toilet paper and plastic trash bags.I also keep a comforter & small pillow in a ziplock bag that keeps them clean in the trunk.Sample bottles of shampoo,toothpaste /tooth brush.And antibacterial hand cleaner. We have a box handy for the house also.With canned food water,coffee pot and pan to warm up food. Hope the lists will help someone.

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January 25, 2005
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