Emergencies and natural disasters can be unexpected – and preparedness can draw the line between safety and risk. But if you have no choice but to evacuate, preparing an emergency checklist will ensure swift and calm action.
Besides, preparing your stuff and property during an emergency isn’t ideal. You may even injure yourself by running around and carrying as many belongings as possible.
Your household rubbish can also add to the risk, especially if heaps of junk block your emergency exits and pathways. Nevertheless, preparing a checklist before disaster strikes remains the best action plan.
We at Paul’s Rubbish Removal brought together our curated household emergency evacuation checklist to help you protect your family, pets, and property during a disaster.
Related: Australian Flood Waste Statistics
How to Prepare for an Emergency
The recent floodings in Australia shed light on the evident need for a household emergency plan. The country isn’t strangers to natural disasters and industrial emergencies, causing thousands of people to evacuate from their homes on a day’s notice.
Here are some necessities and procedures you need to perform to prepare for any emergency. Following the tips below can allow you to bring what you need and evacuate in no time.
1. Always Have a Grab-and-Go Kit Ready
Whether it’s a clear sunny afternoon or a tropical cyclone is nearing, every household should prepare a grab-and-go kit with essential supplies like:
- Bottled water
- Canned goods
- First-aid supplies
- Batteries and emergency equipment (radio, flashlight, whistles, etc.)
2. Seal and Waterproof Important Documents
Your property documents, proof of insurance, identifications, and medical records are priceless. Even without a threat of an emergency, keep your important documents sealed, waterproofed, and stored in an easy-to-locate area.
You can always have them in a vault but always make sure you can gather all your documents from one place before an emergency.
Moreover, you can check with your local council if they accept other means to prove home ownership or occupancy so you can claim government assistance and benefits. But then again, providing official documents and identity after an emergency is more convenient than convincing the government of your ownership and citizenship.
3. Protect and Prepare Your Pets
Prepare a grab-and-go bag with everything essential for your pets. Think about storing medication, meal cans, pet food, leashes, and a water bottle in a pet bag so you can keep them safe and healthy throughout the evacuation.
4. Familiarise Utility Shutoffs
We don’t recommend fiddling with your gas, water, and power shutoffs. However, preparing for an emergency requires knowing how to shut off your utilities for safety.
5. Place Sandbags Around Your Perimeter
It may sound like a tall order, but having sandbags around your property can go a long way in preventing flood ingress. We recommend placing them as soon as emergency broadcasts indicate a brewing tropical cyclone heading toward your area.
Besides, it’s impossible to fill a hundred sandbags in a day. That’s why we recommend preparing the materials so you can start building a flood wall whenever a storm is approaching.
6. Check for Window Protection
Window panes and glass can break during cyclones and thunderstorms. We recommend protecting your windows with durable shutters or covering them up with plywood to protect them from debris.
7. Clear Your Yard
Watch out for dead branches and old structures which could become windblown debris during a disaster. Bring inside all objects and equipment that aren’t fixed on the ground to avoid serious damage.
Aside from that, heaps of rubbish, metals, green waste, and broken appliances can become harmful debris if left unchecked.
We recommend calling your local rubbish removal team to swiftly and efficiently collect unwanted junk in your home or office on the same day. Having a Sydney rubbish removal partner gives you more time to prepare other belongings and plan your emergency evacuation.
Now that you’ve designed a well-planned checklist, it’s time to implement it. During an emergency evacuation, keep your head clear and follow your checklist to avoid unwanted delays, injuries, and damage.
1. Shut Off Your Utilities
After getting familiar with shutoff valves, implement your training and turn off the power, water, and gas to prevent additional incidents and risks. If you’re running a centralised gas pipe, you may need to call your local gas technician to turn it back on.
2. Ensure Window Protections are Snug
If you resorted to DIY shutters and plywood covers, ensure all of them are nailed in place and will not blow away or break easily. Doing so will keep your glass windows intact and prevent safety hazards from breaking and shattering.
3. Gather Your Pets, Belongings, and Emergency Kits
Your grab-and-go kits should be packed up and ready for transport. Make sure every family member brings an emergency bag to help sustain your family and pets’ needs.
We also recommend moving some belongings to higher levels to prevent water damage and electrical fire. Put your electronics and light appliances in your attic or upper floors while ensuring other electrical appliances are plugged out.
Moreover, if it’s not safe for humans to stay, so is for pets. Keep your pets with you always, or contact a nearby friend or relative to house your pet if you cannot bring them with you.
4. Lock Your House Before Evacuating
Some looters in your suburb take advantage of the emergency and break into houses after homeowners have evacuated. You should lock all your doors and exposed windows and always bring your keys.
Preparation Goes a Long Way
Keeping your household emergency-ready can go a long way in ensuring that your family and property are safe at all times. If planning a general cleanup while preparing for an emergency, leave all the junk collection to our team at Paul’s Rubbish Removal.
We understand the impact of clutter and broken furniture on your health and safety. That’s why we developed a rubbish removal system to minimise the risk of injury and ensure that your household is spotless and prepared for nature’s trials.