Plan ahead for household emergencies

Compiling an emergency plan is probably the furthest thing from your mind if you’re currently moving house and have a hundred-and-one details to take care of.

But, says Homenet CEO Martin Scultheiss, formulating a strategy to deal with emergencies of various kinds should be at the top of your “to do” list.

“And it should be thoroughly discussed and as comprehensive as possible so everyone in your family knows what to do in every eventuality ranging from a disaster such as a fire or flood through burglaries and power outages right down to a broken finger or toe. Familiarity with the plan facilitates emergency procedures and can save lives.”

At the very least, he says, you should as soon as possible after moving into your new home compile a “master list” of all the pertinent emergency numbers including those of the police, fire and ambulance services, your security company, the plumber, your electrician and the municipality.

The family GP and vet should also get a mention and you should note details of any known ailments or allergies a particular family member may have, as well as the numbers of an preferred appliance or household repair companies.

‘’The lack of such a contact list is often only felt after the fact. Nobody wants to have to scrabble around searching for numbers in the middle of a crisis. Keeping the list up to date also can also play a significant role in fast-tracking an emergency and could potentially be life-saving,” says Schultheiss.”

A full-scale emergency plan should also contain the location of the water mains cut-off valve and any electrical and/ or gas supply installations, the basic knowledge of which can go a long way in limiting damage in the event of an emergency.

“And lastly, all members of the household must know where the master list or plan is kept, preferably in a highly visible spot such as the fridge door. It must also be returned to its place every time it is used.”

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