- Stay alert. This is one of the most important things you can do for your safety. The first time you find out about fire will often be when you see it, smell it or see firefighting trucks or aircraft. As well as fires, tornados often occur without warning. You may see or hear the wind picking up, or see debris flying through the air. When an earthquake occurs, you may feel the earth-shaking. All of these are signs that danger is near and that you need to act. This may mean checking other sources of information or moving immediately to a safer place.
- Get connected. Connected communities are safer communities. Stay in touch with neighbors, friends and family, whether via phone, social media or chatting over the fence. Your mum or a friend may ring you to let you know there is a bushfire near you, or a neighbor may mention a cyclone is approaching the coast. This is your warning. Act immediately for your own safety.
- Know that no warning system is foolproof.No matter how you think you might receive a warning, be flexible, sign up through multiple communication channels from multiple sources and never rely on anyone's source of information. Emergencies can be unexpected, occur suddenly and cause disruptions to power, internet and telecommunications systems. For this reason, FEMA recommends you use a range of sources of information during emergencies and make judgments based on your individual circumstances to stay safe.
After a Disaster:
✔️ If people are injured apply first aid
✔️ Do not move the seriously injured people unless in immediate danger
✔️ In a life-threatening emergency call 911
✔️ Listen to the local radio and heed warnings or advice on damage, service disruptions and relocation
✔️ Do not return home until authorities advise it is safe to do so
✔️ Be careful of downed power lines and falling debris
✔️ If your home has been damaged and you need help call 911
✔️ Check for broken water, sewerage or electrical mains lines
✔️ Check for cracks or damage in the roof, walls and chimneys
✔️ Leave the building if it is badly damaged and threatens your safety
✔️ Take photographs as soon as possible for insurance purposes
✔️ Contact your insurance company to organize permanent repairs
✔️ Check on the whereabouts of pets and animals
✔️ Avoid driving unless for an emergency to keep streets free of unnecessary activity
✔️ Do not go sightseeing or enter damaged buildings
✔️ Stay calm and help others if possible
We've put together a free book on disaster prevention, written by our very own team.
Where Do I Start?
Having an emergency plan is an important step towards preparing your household to survive and cope during emergencies.
A few hours spent working through simple planning tasks with your household, putting aside supplies and securing your home can increase the chances of survival during an emergency.
It’s important to include all household when developing your plan and if live alone consider creating a plan with a neighbor or close friend.
Protect important documents and sentimental items like photographs and letters by uploading digital copies of the items or backing them up. Store original documents in a safe deposit box although a fireproof/waterproof document safe can make more sense than an off-site security deposit box in some cases. Send a flash drive with digital copies of documents and photographs to a trusted friend or family member in another part of the country for safekeeping.
Tally what you own.
To file a claim for damaged or destroyed possessions, you have to know what you own and roughly how much those items cost.
“No one remembers what’s in their house, not even me, but long before anything is damaged, you should take stock of your stuff; many insurance companies provide online tools to help. Create video or photographing rooms, items, receipts and the contents of closets to roughly document your possessions.
Use Apps to Help Catalog your Stuff
Apps like Sortly and Home Contents can help with photographing your property to help document your claim in the event of a loss.
Plan for the 3 stages of any emergency:
- What will I do before to prepare?
- What will I do during?
- What about after?
Before a Fire:
ALWAYS familiarize yourself with “where you are” and be sure to know how to reach the TWO nearest EXITS.
During a Fire:
Remember that in a fire situation, smoke is blinding and will bank down in the rooms and hallways. This condition may force you to crouch or crawl to escape to safety. Stay low on your hands and knees, hold your breath as much as you can and head to the nearest exits.
After a Fire:
After you are safe and emergency help has arrived, there must always be a plan to restore your home after a disaster. Contact your insurance and get hold of a trustable general contractor that can provide estimates to fix up the house.
Before an earthquake:
Earthquakes happen every single day and while you can’t prepare for every contingency, you can do some small things to help prepare your household:
- Does your insurance policy cover earthquakes?
- Where will your family meet in the event of a disaster?
- Have you secured hanging items, heavy items, breakables and hazardous materials?
Here are some additional tips to prepare for an Earthquake.
During an earthquake:
If an earthquake strikes you need to remain vigilant, listen to local radio and expect aftershocks. Sometimes the first earthquake you feel may actually be a foreshock to a much larger earthquake.
It is important to follow the advice of emergency services, stay calm and help others if possible, and watch for hazards.
- Stay inside/outside until shaking stops.
- If trapped, do not move or kick up dust. Hold a handkerchief or shirt over your mouth.
- Tap on a pipe or object for noise, do not scream!
After an earthquake:
After you are safe, you may proceed with your restoration plan. Contact your insurance company and get hold of a trustable contractor that can restore your home. Allied Restoration can provide estimates on damages to repair your home to pre-loss conditions.
You can visit our disaster restoration service page if you would like to learn more about water damage, fire damage and mold remediation!