Emergency Preparedness: A Home Checklist
Updated: Jan 30
When you buy a home in the greater metro Portland, Oregon area, you and your lender may have the conversation whether this home is in the flood zone or not, and therefore might require an extra layer of insurance or a shift in financing but you might not think about it once you've moved in.
As a Realtor in Oregon City, I think about it from both perspectives since I'm also a homeowner, wife, and mother. How might we be better prepared? Most disaster professionals recommending having enough supplies for three days after a disaster. The planner in me also says access to these supplies during a disaster is paramount or it's all for nothing so putting them in waterproof bins that are stored somewhere that won't tempt rodents and is easy to access. Call the family together for a quick but thorough meeting outlining what's in the kit, where the kit is and what to do in case of emergency. Similarly, if you have a two-story house, you should have an emergency ladder upstairs to escape in the event of a fire and if the fire has blocked the exit to the lower floor to get out of the home...and discuss that as well. Here is the emergency house kit list:
One gallon of water per person for three days.
Non-perishable food for three days: Having some protein will help your body to handle what you may be facing. Canned light tuna offers heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in general, less fat than meat. It is one of the best protein sources thanks to its low mercury content and high protein. But also consider...you won't have miracle whip and fresh-baked bread necessarily to enjoy it with so store things you can handle out of the can.
Because you'll be eating food from a can, you'll need a can opener.
A battery powered, solar powered or hand crank radio...and then batteries too if you choose that option.
Headlamps and flashlights - enough for each person...a combination of both can be handy for different scenarios.
Water purification tablets.
Personal hygiene items like soap, hand sanitizer, and feminine care products.
First aid kit.
N95 respirator masks.
Wet Wipes for hand and body clean-up
Garbage Bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation + larger garbage bags or tarps for patching holes or providing shelter.
Wrench and pliers for turning off utilities.
Local maps because, hello: no internet.
Copies of all personal documents including ID cards.
Sleeping bags or blankets for each person.
Duct tape (obviously for everything imaginable)
A change of clothes and old shoes in case the ones you have are wet or ruined/torn contaminated.
Waterproof matches in a ziplock bag.
Spare eyeglasses, contact lenses and solution because if you can't see, you can't do much to save yourself or your family.
If you have a baby...formula, diapers, bottles and wipes.
If you have a pet...food, water, food bowl, meds
Crossword puzzles, books etc in the event that you are stranded for long periods of time.
Lastly, create a wallet-size emergency contact list for everyone in your family to carry that includes phone numbers for out-of-state friends or relatives in case cell service is intact but you are split apart.
About the Author: Kristina Browning is a Home Functionality Coach and Realtor in Portland Oregon. She is the producer and host of the "Home Space and Reason" podcast helping listeners to Create a Home that Thrives.® She is a wife and a mother to a 7-year-old boy. If you are searching for a real estate agent in Portland to help you with buying a home or selling a home, look no further. She is a five star rated realtor that offers complimentary home staging with each listing and insight into home functionality to assist buyers.