Being prepared to ring in a new year is always somewhat exciting. Creating some resolutions to shed bad habits, being thankful for new experiences you had, people you met and lessons you learned or recognizing the people that stood with you through the thick and thin.
Being prepared can also have different meaning, so I want to talk about a specific type of preparedness.
2018 was said to be a challenging year for many of us, especially homeowners in California when it came to emergencies. Several fires decimated parts of Northern and Southern California and many of us, even with years of constant reminders around fire danger and being as prepared as we possibly can, we’re not 100% prepared.
There is no way to guarantee you can escape the danger of a fire, an earthquake or a mudslide, but we can all do our best to be as prepared as possible, especially as a responsible home owner.
I’ve gathered information around few tips and products, some you may know about, some may you may not, but all of them good reminders why you should always be prepared:
1. ShakeAlertLA - Download this new app developed by the city of Los Angeles in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey. It is designed to provide warnings similar to an Amber Alert when significant shaking starts nearby, ideally allowing users to get to a safe place.
2. Fireproof your home - This is common sense for anyone who lives in an area prone to wildfires – but outside of the usual steps you would take, such as clearing debris and brush around your home – there are many specific products on the market such as sprinkler systems or biodegradable foam that can be an absolute lifesaver.
3. Protect against mudslides - Building retainer walls or having sandbags on hand are a good first defense against mudslides, which can be sudden and unexpected, especially after a wildfire and during the rainy season. One of the best defenses is to hire a land assessment consultant to help design and or build a debris flow structure, channel or piping around your home if you are in an area that is very prone to mudslides.
4. Emergency Kit - Whether you build one yourself or buy one pre-made, an Emergency Kit is always a good idea to have. Make sure they are stocked with enough non-perishable foods, water and supplies for everyone in your family. It is also a good idea have a couple in the home and at least one in the car.
5. Emergency Radio - We are so dependent on getting information from our phones, internet and now a robot called Alexa, that we may forget once the power goes out or the phone lines go down, we still need to stay informed. Get a good solar powered and/or crank emergency radio so you can do just that in an emergency that takes out any and all communication with the outside world. The best way to safety is staying informed.
While we should never be living in fear of anything, I do hope these little tips serve as reminders for all of to stay vigilant in the face of disaster, especially after last year’s fires. I also hope that emergency readiness in 2019 will simply just serve as a good exercise on why we need to stay prepared without any reason to say “thank god I listened to Juliette.” Be safe out there!