pencils writing "Are you ready?"How prepared are you for a personal, home, or weather-related emergency? Would you have a warm place to stay should your neighborhood experience a lengthy power outage? Do your children know how to exit your home safely in case of fire? Are you familiar with CPR basics to help someone who is choking?

The truth is, as prepared as we might think we are to take on the challenges often associated with distress or crisis, many households do not have basic plans in place to deal with real life emergencies.

Here are several “take action steps” that will help you be prepared if and when a true emergency arises.

  • Keep emergency contact information handy. This includes your local police department for non-life threatening situations, poison control, family practitioner, pediatrician, plumber, electrician, and more.
  • Make sure you have working smoke detectors outside all bedrooms and other strategic locations. Also, keep a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen – remember, these are not re-fillable and must be replaced after each usage.  If your smoke detectors are battery operated, replace the batteries at least once a year and check them often.
  • Have age appropriate discussions with your children about what to do in the event of a home fire. Practice fire drills, show them how to escape safely, and tell them where to go to call for help.
  • As the weather turns colder, keep plenty of blankets in your car should it break down or the heat stop working. Don’t forget flashlights and flares, either.
  • If your children have cell phones, make sure they have an emergency contact person and number. Many people use the acronym ICE – In Case of Emergency.
  • Teach your children to enter your home cautiously, and be mindful of any suspicious persons, vehicles, open or broken windows, and open doors. When in doubt, tell them to go to a friend’s or neighbor’s house and call for help.
  • Get familiar with the emergency shut off valves to your home’s electrical power, gas, and water supplies. Teach older children where they’re located and how to turn them on and off.

At Burton, we have so many different ways to assist you before, during, or after an emergency.  The next time we’re in your home for service, ask our technician to place tags on your shut-off valves for ease of locating them, especially when you’re under stress.  Concerned about losing electrical power for an extended amount of time? If so, call and request more information (or an in-home quote) on a whole-house standby generator – the kind that will keep everything electrical running smoothly until the public power supply is restored.

And, of course, we invite you to add us to your family’s list of emergency contact personnel for anything related to your plumbing, heating, AC, or electrical systems.