When we start prepping it’s easy to get caught up in a worst case scenario mentality. While preparing for the worst is a good thing, it can sometimes cause you to overlook the smaller disasters that can be just as devastating to your livelihood.
Statistically, the most likely disasters most Americans will face are fires and floods.
The Fire Threat
According to the CDC, Deaths from fires and burns are the third leading cause of fatal home injuries in the United States. The latest statistics show that in 2009 there were 377,000 house fires. These fires were responsible for 2,565 deaths (not including firefighters) and 13,050 major injuries.
Prevention & Safety
- Install Smoke Detectors – 4 out of 10 fire related deaths happen in houses without smoke alarms.
- Don’t be another statistic – Most fires can be prevented by using a bit of common sense. According to the experts, over 15,000 fires a year are caused by smoking. 40% are alcohol related.
- Fire extinguisher – Knowing how to start a fire is a great survival skill, but knowing how to put one out can save your life! Learn what type of fire extinguisher you need.
- Keep it Clean – Dirty chimneys and unmaintained dryers are responsible for a large number of the house fires that happen every year. Make sure you perform regular maintenance, and cleaning on anything in your home that can cause a fire.
Floods and Flooding
During Hurricane Katrina over 50 levees failed, causing flood water to come rushing into the city of New Orleans. Economic damages were estimated at over $200 billion, and more than 1,800 people lost their life. Flooding can occur anywhere in the United States, and is actually the most common disaster that we face.
How to Prepare:
- Keep an eye on the weather – During stormy weather, make sure you stay on top of all weather reports. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, start to make preparations for a possible flood and come up with an evacuation plan.
- Be careful when Driving – The average vehicle can be swept off the road in as little as 12 inches of moving water. Nearly half of all flash flood related deaths happen in a vehicle. If your vehicle stalls in the water, try to get to higher ground as soon as possible. Do not count on your car to keep you safe.
- Flood Insurance – Over 25% of flood insurance claims are submitted by people living in so called “low risk” zones. Although it won’t save your life, it could save you a huge headache in the event of a flood.
Danger Zones – If you live in a danger zone you may want to take a couple extra precautions.
- Emergency Rafts – Remember all the people who we’re stuck on their roofs waiting for help during hurricane Katrina? If I lived in an area like New Orleans, I would definitely have an emergency raft ready to go. You can find some decent ones on Amazon for as low as $200
- Life Jackets – Life jackets are another good idea for anyone in a danger zone. Click here for a list of Life Vest on Amazon
- Water Filters – Check out our article on Water Filters
- Crow Bar & Tools – Flash back again to Hurricane Katrina. Many of the people who we’re forced on to their roof during the hurricane had to cut through the roof to make an escape. Make sure you have the right tools in your attic just in case you are caught off guard.