Are You Safe? Are You Prepared to be Safe in Your Home in Case of Tornado or Earthquake?

There have been some interesting weather phenomena recently in Richmond, Virginia. We’re used to the seemingly random ups and downs in temperature and not really knowing when to expect rain or sunshine until right before a planned outdoor event. We’re even used to having our share of severe thunderstorms, occasional hail, and hurricanes and tropical storms, in their season and we know what to do when these weather systems roll through RVA. Now, it seems, we need to add planning for tornadoes and earthquakes to our list of things for which to be prepared. We’ve been focusing on safety in the home, so to continue that trend, here are some things you should do at home to prepare for natural disasters:

Before Disaster Strikes

  • Develop an emergency and evacuation plan.
  • Discuss where to seek shelter.
  • Find a second exit from each room.
  • Make sure any special equipment is available (rope ladder).
  • Make sure that all exits are clear (not blocked by furniture or clutter).
  • Know where your first aid kit, fire extinguishers, and emergency food and water are located.
  • Know where to turn off utilities (water, gas, electricity).
  • Know where to meet up with your family outside of the home.
  • Practice your plan.


Extra Precautions for Seniors or Special Needs

  • Record your medications and needs and keep this list readily available.
  • Make sure that you have someone nearby who will assist you in case of emergency.
  • This person should have a copy of your list and access to your home .
  • Make sure to pay attention to weather warnings in whichever format works for you.


Reducing Household Hazards for Tornadoes and Earthquakes

  • Make sure chairs and beds are away from windows, mirrors, and large picture frames.
  • Place heavy or large items on lower shelves.
  • Secure your large appliances, including your water heater, with flexible cable, braided wire, or metal strapping.
  • Identify top-heavy, free-standing furniture, like bookcases and china cabinets, that could fall over.
    • Secure these pieces of furniture to the wall.
  • Install sliding bolts or childproof latches on all cabinet doors.
  • Store all hazardous materials such as poisons and solvents…
    • in a sturdy, latched or locked cabinet.
    • in a well-ventilated area.
    • away from emergency food or water supplies.


Other Things To Do

  • Establish priorities
    • Know what is important enough to be hand carried
  • Write down important information
    • Make a list of important information and keep it in a safe place
  • Store important documents in a fire-proof safe
    • Include any document that would be difficult to replace
    • Include a household inventory with pictures for insurance claims


This isn’t a complete list, but highlights some of the more important preparation you can do at home. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If your senior family member lives in a different area from you, find out how a senior care Richmond VA caregiver can assist them in times of emergency when you can’t be there in person. Contact me today for more information about how we can help.


Posted In: Senior Care