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The original item was published from 4/28/2014 2:45:00 PM to 4/28/2014 2:58:43 PM.

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City of Newton - Community Development

Posted on: May 12, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Building Safety Month 2014- Week 2: Helping Homeowners Weather the Storm


Prepare Your Family
Making sure your family is prepared for any natural disaster is important. Below are some of the steps you can take to prepare your family and protect your home from natural disasters. Your actions can ensure that no matter what Mother Nature brings, you, your family and your community will be resilient.

Here are a few tips to follow from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes – (FLASH®) when preparing your family for any emergency.

Develop a family disaster plan that includes a list of food and water supplies needed for each member of your family and supplies for your pets. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, the deed to your home, and other personal papers, important phone numbers and a home inventory. Create a checklist of important things to do before, during and after a disaster.
Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with your family. Options for evacuation would include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging, or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups in conjunction with local authorities.
Taking shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location where you are when disaster strikes.
Review your plan regularly. If you make changes that affect the information in your disaster plan, update it immediately.

Protect Your Home
The power of these natural disasters can be overwhelming. While you can't necessarily stop natural disasters from happening, there are steps you can take to increase your home's chance of survival, even in the face of the worst Mother Nature can dish out.

If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths, injuries and extensive property damage. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your family and protect your home.

Plan and hold earthquake drills for your family. To learn more about planned earthquake drills in your area, visit
Identify two ways to escape from every room in the home.
Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person's bed.
Select a safe location away from the home where your family can meet after evacuating.
Have an earthquake kit containing water, food, medicines and other necessities for at least three days
Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation
Strap water heaters, appliances and TVs to wall studs.
Anchor bookshelves, heavy furniture, appliances and televisions to wall studs.
Secure pictures, mirrors and ornaments to the wall with appropriate fasteners.
Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas, and water services.

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