Different kinds of emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere – school, workplace, community etc. During times of unforeseen disturbances and hazards, our mind usually commands us to run onto the safest place we know, and usually it’s our home. However, we have to remember that even in the safest and coziest corner of our home, we are not totally safe and protected since our home can easily be obliterated or gravely affected by different external disasters.

Coming from that premise, lots of emergencies can easily happen at home especially if the house is not well-planned and poorly built (issues in structural integrity), people living inside are not aware of the heat and danger zones and when family members don’t have any plan and survival kit during weather and fire-related accidents/emergencies.

Below are some of the helpful and doable tips from Red Cross to prevent and minimize home-related accidents. It is always important to be in preventive stance than in curative:

  1. Install smoke alarms to immediately notify people inside or around the house premise regarding a starting and spreading fire. According to American Red Cross, 7 people die every day from home fire, 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires daily, and about $7 billion in property damage occurs every year.
  2. According from Red Cross Philippines, the first 72 hours after a disaster is very critical. Most of us went under the unfavourable experience of after-storms – house parts were damaged, properties got lost, family members got injured and many more. “Lifeline Kit” is very important to heighten the survival rate of family members, below are the contents of the kit:
    a. 1 gallon of water
    b. Non-perishable and easy to open food sufficient for 3 days
    c. Emergency tools and gear such as flashlight, extra batteries, cellphones, multi-purpose knife, candles, lighters, AM radio, ropes, blankets, whistle and sleeping bag
    d. Personal effects and hygiene kits
    e. Important documents and money
    f. First aid kit
  3. 2-3 days before the landfall of strong storms or typhoons, brace our homes (especially the doors, windows and other parts that can easily be damaged such as roofing etc.). Braces such as bamboos, iron railings and even wooden bars can fortify our home’s structural strength.
  4. Keep away accident-prone objects at bay such as knife, construction tools, pointy and sharp objects especially if there are toddlers at home.
  5. Make exit plans and conduct drills. Through these, people at home will not panic and will know what to do and where to go during accidents and disasters at home or affecting home.

Most of the time, we feel helpless and scared during accidents and occurrence of natural disasters especially if our loved ones are affected and their lives are at stake. We can’t avoid and predict emergencies, but we can do something to lessen its direct impact and effects on our lives. Remember, it is important to be informed, make a plan and get involved.

References:

American Red Cross. Prepare Your Home and Family. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family on July 21, 2015

Philippine Red Cross. Lifeline Kit: Be Ready All The Time! Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org.ph/component/k2/item/837-red-cross-lifeline-kit on July 21, 2015

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