Plan, prepare for unexpected emergencies with these helpful tips

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Emergencies are never convenient. Most often they seem to occur at the most inopportune times. For example, early one morning (1:30 a.m.), I felt the need to get up and discovered that the toilet was spraying water all over the bathroom. Later, we began the basement cleaning that was required due to the propensity for water to fall through the flooring. Luckily, we had only clean water to mop up and a few rugs and cushions to dry. It could have been much, much worse.

It takes deliberate planning to be prepared for most emergencies and — by extension — many disasters you may face. You may find that much of what you need to respond to an emergency is already in your home. How do you prepare for small emergencies such as our small late night/early morning water supply hose break? How would that help in a larger event?

Knowledge is one of the basic tools you need to be prepared. Can you answer “yes” to the following questions?

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Do you know where to turn off the water in your bathroom and kitchen? Do you know where and how to turn off the water supply at the house? Do you know how to turn off the water supply at the water meter (do you know where that meter is located)?

Do you know which breakers disconnect the electricity to air conditioning units, large appliances and outlets? Do you know where the main breaker to the house is located?

Do you have natural or propane gas for water heaters or home heating? Do you know the locations of the valves in the house? If there is a need, do you know how to turn off the main valve? Watch NDSU Extension Engineer Ken Helevang demonstrate how to turn off the main valve on the natural gas meter and on the propane tank.  [Do NOT turn main valves back on after a disaster — contact your local provider].

For information on preparing for future floods, visit Source: V. Morgan