Special to Iredell Free News

Disasters happen quickly and often times without any warning. What you do or do not do now will set the tone for what happens to your family and property during a disaster.

Take these 10 steps today and throughout the rest of the year to protect your family and property before a disaster happens.

1. Learn first aid, CPR, and put together a first aid kit for your home and car: https://www.redcross.org/gethelp/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/anatomy-of-a-first-aid-kit.html

2. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/extinguishers.html

3. Know how to shut off utilities such as gas, water, and electricity safely: www.ready.gov/safety-skills

4. Write down or type up a list of your household belongings. This can help if you have to file an insurance claim for things that get destroyed from a disaster.

5. Make sure you have the right type and amount of home insurance or renters’ insurance for your things.

6. Keep important papers and other valuable items in a waterproof container and make copies to keep online or at another location.

7. Direct water away from your house. Clean gutters and make sure the water drains away from your home to prevent flooding.

8. Secure objects outside the home. Do you have loose shingles, trash cans, outdoor sports equipment, or patio furniture? All these things can be picked up by the wind; make sure to secure these objects to avoid damage to your home during a storm.

9. Trim or remove dead, damaged or rotting trees and limbs. Your home should be at least a full-grown tree’s height away from the base of any tree, usually about 40 feet away.

10. If you live in a manufactured home, be sure that the wheels and axles are fixed to a permanent foundation and the anchoring system is installed properly.

LEARN MORE

For more ways to protect your home and family from disasters visit www.ready.gov. Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can! #BeReady #NPM2022 #LastingLegacy

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