Disasters can strike anywhere at any moment. Though some types of calamities are preventable and even detectable ahead of time, there will be situations when you have to face an emergency head-on. The best way to survive an emergency is by preparing your home for any possible disasters that are likely to affect you. Fortunately, there are several ways you can ready your home for emergencies and prevent as much damage as possible.

Get insurance for emergencies most likely to occur in your area.

To best prepare your home for emergencies, you need to know what sort of situations you may face. Different areas come with their natural disaster risks, such as hurricanes in Louisiana and tornadoes in Kansas. If you have a swimming pool or a body of water near your house, there may be a high risk of flood damage.

Once you’ve determined the disasters that are most likely to affect your home, consider finding an insurer to protect your belongings. You can find cheap home insurance options that cover different disasters, such as earthquake, flood, and hurricane insurance. Homeowner’s insurance can help put your mind at ease by offering you a certain amount of money for lost belongings and personal property. There are several different home insurance policies to choose from like Allstate, State Farm, or Amica, which is why doing plenty of research is essential to find the best coverage for your home. You can easily compare home and contents insurance with iSelect.

Stay informed and set up notifications.

Another way to be prepared for emergencies is to listen to the news and be aware of potential threats. If you learn that a natural disaster is on its way to your area before it hits, you have a much higher chance of protecting your family. You can also opt into notifications on your mobile phone to be alerted when there are weather emergencies.

As a homeowner, it would be best if you also made sure other preventable disasters are avoided, such as a house fire or gas leak. Perform smoke detector checks often, invest in storm shutters, and take any other measures to protect your home. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have reliable electrical wiring and a sturdy roof for inclement weather.

Assemble emergency kits.

If you and your family have to leave your home quickly due to an emergency, consider putting together emergency packs. Fill a backpack or other easy to carry bag with essentials like water, a change of clothing, and a flashlight, and keep your bags in an easily accessible area. That way, if a disaster strikes, you’ll have all the necessary items you’ll need until you can return to your home.

When assembling each person’s bundle, make sure you consider each individual’s personal needs. If anyone uses a particular medication or has dietary requirements, make sure they have the possessions they need to stay healthy.

Make and practice an emergency plan.

Aside from an emergency kit, each member of your family should know what to do when disaster strikes. If you have to leave your home, designate a meet-up location to get together and account for everyone’s safety. Another good idea is to list important contact information and keep it where everyone can find it, in case anyone needs to reach specific emergency departments or family members.

Once you have your emergency plan, remember to practice it often so you’ll be sure to know what to do when disaster strikes. Practicing your routine will also allow you to make changes if something doesn’t work like you thought it would, or if you realize you missed something important.

Stock up on long-lasting food and drinks.

Another crucial thing to do to prepare for emergencies is to create an emergency supply of food and beverages to last for at least a couple of weeks. Look up what foods have the most extended shelf lives and how to properly store them to ensure freshness. You should also have a reliable source of clean drinking water and several ways to save it.

Keeping a cache of emergency foods will give your family insurance against hunger if you get stranded in your home for a long duration.