Home Emergency Management 101
Step-by-Step Instructions for Handling Five Home Emergencies
You can't predict when a home emergency will occur - but you can be prepared. Quick thinking can help minimize risk and even prevent property damage and personal injury.
If you don't already have one, create a home emergency preparedness plan for dealing with potentially serious situations. This emergency management guide can get you started.
- Your water flow slows or stops.
- Your home's pipes could be frozen. This occurs in more than 50 million homes in the U.S. each year.
- Open all faucets. Located the frozen areas.
- Use a hair dryer to heat the pipes until a steady flow of water returns.
- If ignored, frozen pipes can burst, and in just one day, a 1/8 inch crack can release 250 gallons of water.
- Here's what to do if pipes burst:
- Shut off main water valve.
- Turn off electricity to the affected area.
- Call a plumber to fix or replace the pipes.
- Clean up excess water and dry thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew.
- Your toilets and tubs are backed up.
- This could be a sewer drain clog and a potentially nasty problem.
- Wastewater containing more than 120 different viruses can spill into your home.
- Use stoppers to close drains in plumbing fixtures.
- Vacate affected areas.
- Call a plumber to clear blockage.
- Ater you've fixed the problem, call a professional sewage cleanup service to sanitize your home. Most homeowners do not have the proper equipment to clean this kind of mess.
- A family member is disoriented, vomiting and having trouble breathing.
- It could be poisoning. In one day, poison centers field 10,830 calls.
- Emergency rooms treat 2,277 people,
- 87 people die from unintentional poisonings.
- Know what to do if the victim is unconscious or not breathing, call 911. If the victim is awake and alert, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Remain calm and follow the operator's instructions.
- Have this information handy: victim's age and weight, approximate time of poisoning, address where ti occurred, name of substance, symptoms.
- You smell rotten eggs.
- This could be a sign of a gas leak. Get outside of the house immediately. Don't attempt to located the leak or turn appliances on or off. Call 911, then call your utility company.
- Your carbon monoxide (CO) detector off, and/or you have a headache, chest pain and nausea.
- You might have carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Each year, this kills more than 400 Americans, causes 20,000 emergency room visits, and results in more than 4,000 hospitalizations.
- CO cannot be seen or smelled, so know the common symptoms: chest pain, headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea. If your CO detector goes off or you exhibit symptoms, get outside of the house immediately and call 911 or go to the emergency room.
2. Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
3. Natural Resources Defense Council; http://www.nrdc.org
4. American Association of Poison Control Centers; http://www.aapcc.org/
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.