When surveying Mansfield and Ashland homes for sale, you need an emergency plan for after your family moves in. Emergencies like power outages, fires, and natural disasters can be scary, but they don't need to be disastrous as long as you're prepared. Our REALTORS® have compiled some common crises and their responses below.
- Power Outage
Stash battery-operated flashlights and candles in every room in case of power outages. Then, furnish your emergency kit with extra batteries to power through a power outage that lasts several days.
After a power outage, check if other homes in the community are affected. Overloaded circuits are a common cause of blackouts, in which case you should reduce the number of appliances sharing the same outlets. In the event of a neighborhood-wide outage, contact your power company and obtain information on repair times.
- House Fires
All the floors of your home should have smoke alarms, both inside and outside sleeping areas. Then, test these alarms every month and replace batteries as needed. Many people assume that the smell of smoke will wake them up, but the fumes could encourage deeper sleep.
Another important tip is to get the entire family to practice an escape plan. Ideally, there should be two ways to get out of the room, and you should print out the exit plans and stick them on the refrigerator.
Ensure that household members can easily open security bars and take out window screens. Additionally, practice feeling your way out of the residence with eyes closed and teach children to respond to firefighters.
Kitchen fires can also be disastrous because people smother the flames with dishtowels or other items that catch fire. Keep baking soda close to the counter to douse flare-ups in a stovetop pan or toaster.
- Gas Leaks
Natural gas leaks are recognizable by hissing sounds or, more commonly, a "rotten egg" smell. That distinctive smell is actually a harmless chemical additive called mercaptan, but it will definitely make its presence known. Let your family members know to immediately leave the residence if they detect a strong odor or sounds. Another tip is to change the batteries in battery-powered carbon monoxide alarms periodically. Smart detectors are excellent investments as they send gas leak alerts to your phone.
Gas leaks can also arise from damage to supply lines, and you should seek a go-ahead from your utility company before you excavate outdoors. Also, check for any cracks on the gas connections to gas appliances like the stovetop.
- Water Damage
The quickest way to deal with a bad leak is to turn off the main shutoff valve. The valve is commonly situated in the basement or near the property line on the side of the home facing the street.
If you have a gate valve design, turn it periodically as it becomes hard to turn if not turned for years. Ensure that you can turn the gate valve on your own in case of a disastrous water leak. Ball valves are easier to turn, and you should educate all household members on where the main shutoff valve is.
In case of frozen pipes, regularly let a little cold or hot water run through, and leave the cabinets under sinks open to expose the pipes to heat. Also, insulate pipes in crawl spaces, garages, and other areas where heat doesn't reach.
- Natural Disasters
When you move to a new area, check the likely natural disasters on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website or call the local chapter of the Red Cross. These organizations list warning procedures and evacuation shelters.
An emergency list will help weather various disasters, including storms, power outages, and floods. Furnish the kit with dry food, water, medical supplies, flashlight, radio, extra batteries, hygiene products, and extra cash.
Ultimately, the best way to prepare for emergencies is to purchase a safe home for your family. Contact us today for expert real estate assistance.