Ready Your Home


Things You Can Do To Ready Your Home:

Things That You Need To Do:

  • Stock up on food, water, gear, and equipment that will help you survive an emergency.
  • Stock up on multipurpose items.
  • Organize all your canned items in your pantry.
  • Don’t forget to prep for your pets.
  • Teach your children about prepping.
  • Keep important documents in one binder.
  • Secure family photos and keepsakes.
  • Learn how to shut off house utilities.
  • Learn how to generate and store electricity.
  • Prepare for the type of natural disasters that may occur in your area (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms, wildfires, etc.).

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Home Disaster Preparedness Kit:

In addition to Bug-Out bags for each individual in the household, there should be a Home Emergency Box with extra survival supplies should you decide to “bunker in place”.  A list of suggested contents can be found in the Home Emergency Checklist on Savannah Arsenal’s Checklist Page.

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Home Safety Inspection:

Fire Detection:

Install smoke / carbon monoxide detectors in the bedroom hallway, the kitchen, laundry room, attic, and garage.  You may decide to install smoke detectors in each bedroom.  You may decide not to install a carbon monoxide sensing detector in the garage as it may go off when driving in or out.  Newer models of smoke detectors can be wirelessly connected so that if one goes off then the rest will too.  This means that if there is a fire in your garage, you won’t sleep through the alarm as a fire is raging on the far side of your house.  The one(s) on your side of the house will sound too.

Change your smoke / carbon monoxide detector batteries every six months or as stated in the product directions.  The batteries won’t be dead, but you don’t want to trust you life to marginal batteries.  Put in fresh ones, and save the used ones for the kids’ toys.  Don’t be cheap with equipment that will save your life.

Fire Suppression:

At a minimum make sure that you have an ABC rated fire extinguisher located in the master bedroom, the kitchen, and the garage.  Additional fire extinguishers are added value, especially if you live in a rural area, or are concerned about firefighting after a major disaster when public fire resources may be stretched thin.

I have known some people to keep heavy-duty garden hoses and nozzles attached to their outdoor spigots to aid in fire suppression until the fire department arrives or to quickly wet down the yard and roof if there is an adjacent structure fire or approaching wildfire.  In areas prone to wildfires I have seen people keep several powerful lawn sprinklers that can be set on the roof and in the yard to provide continuous protection from burning embers from nearby fires.

If you live in a rural area or any area prone to wildfires be sure to keep a clear area around your home and other structures.  This usually means the difference between whether or not a structure survives a nearby wildfire.

Serious preppers that live near municipal fire hydrants may choose to buy an appropriate length of fire hose, nozzle, and wrench appropriate to open and turn on the hydrant.  Keep in mind that using a fire hydrant may reduce the needed pressure to upload water to a fire truck down the water line from your hydrant.

Firefighting is dangerous, even to highly trained firefighters.  If a fire is small and you can get to it with a handheld fire extinguisher, then by all means attempt to put it out.  Otherwise it is best to leave it to the professionals.  Structural firefighting is outside of the scope of this blog, however if the fire department is knocked out of service and you are on your own, then use discretion and your best judgement, and do what you have to do.

Escape Plan and Rally Point:

There was recently a house fire in a suburb of our city.  Late one afternoon a man arrived home from work.  Once inside his house he started preparing dinner.  Unknown to him an electrical fire had started in his attic shortly before he arrived home.  The fire continued to build intensity and eventually breached the roof.  Completely oblivious to the raging fire right about his head, the man continued in his domestic bliss.  By the time the smoke detectors sounded, the roof of the house was fully involved.  The man barely made it out of the house before the ceiling collapsed, completely engulfing the home in flames.  Have a plan on how to quickly escape from any part of your house.  Even with smoke detector you may only have a few seconds to react.  Teach your children how to react to smoke detectors and randomly drill them on how to escape from different parts of your home.  Make sure to have a rally point where everyone will meet.  If family members are located in different parts of the home when the smoke detectors sound then they will probably go out different escape routes.  You will need one central meeting point so that you can easily do a head-count and make sure that everyone is accounted for.

Post Your Emergency Numbers:

Post emergency phone numbers at a conspicuous location (i.e. on refrigerator in the kitchen).  Include 911 (if applicable) for fire, police, and medical.  Also include the phone numbers of poison control and any nearby relatives or neighbors.  List you and your spouse’s cell numbers for the baby sitter.  Be sure to include the physical address and any particular landmarks that may help emergency crews find your house (i.e. “5th mailbox past the bridge”).  When a loved one is critically sick, there is a fire, or a child must call for emergency help, there is a very good chance that they will be so stressed that they will forget their own name, let alone the address and phone number that they are calling from.  You might even include basic instructions for CPR and choking.  Having this list posted may save a life.


Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is easy to learn.  Learn it.  Know it.  You won’t have time for the 911 operator the talk you through it.  Murphy’s Law says that you won’t be able to get through to 911 in a serious disaster.

Learn to treat someone who is choking, especially if you have children.  When it happens, it is too late to try to figure it out.  Learn it now.

Learn other first-aid.  There are many resources to help get you started on Savannah Arsenal’s First-Aid pages.

Safety and Security:

For home safety and security be sure to check out Savannah Arsenal’s Security & Tactics page.  It provides great prep ideas about home, perimeter, and neighborhood security.  In a major disaster the police may not be around to protect you and keep you secure.

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Important Documents:

 Keep your important documents in one binder:

  • 401K Plan & Contact Info
  • Adoption, Custody or Foster Care Records
  • ATM DEbit Card & Pin Numbers
  • Auto Registration, Title, Bill of Sale
  • License Plate & VIN Numbers
  • Bank Account Numbers & Contact Info
  • Birth Certificates
  • Bonds
  • Brokerage Statements
  • Business Insurance, Lincenses and Records
  • Cash & Checkbook
  • Contracts
  • Court Documents
  • Credit Reports
  • Credit Reports
  • Credit Card Information & Contacts
  • Death Certificates
  • Debts: What you owe and to whom
  • Deeds to Cemetery Plots
  • Dental & Medical Records
  • Diplomas
  • Divorce Information & Settlements
  • Employment Benefits Records & Contacts
  • Family Emergency Preparedness Plan
  • Family History (Genealogy)
  • Family Pictures (Scan and burn to CDs)
  • Guarantees and Warranties
  • Home Inventory (Video & List)
  • Home Purchase or Refinance Records
  • Home Security Codes
  • Contact Information
  • Immunization Records
  • Inheritance Records
  • Insurance Policies
  • Investment Account Statements
  • Keys: home, cars, safes, business, RV, mailbox, safety deposit box
  • Lease Agreements
  • Life Insurance & Agent Information
  • List of Emergency Contacts with addresses and Phone Numbers
  • Living Wills
  • Marriage Certificate / License
  • Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamp Information
  • Military Records
  • Mortgage Records
  • Naturalization / Immigration Papers
  • Passports / Visas
  • Pension Plan Information and Contacts
  • Prescriptions
  • Property Tax Records
  • Resumes
  • Safe Combinations
  • Safety Deposit Box Information
  • Serial Numbers of Valuable Items
  • Social Security Records
  • Tax Returns
  • Trust Information & Contact
  • Will & Testaments

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Family Photos and Keepsakes:

Secure family photos and keepsakes.  Scan non-digital photos into your computer and save the files on a backup drive that can be stored in a fireproof safe or offsite (safety deposit box).  If your computer crashes or if there is a fire or burglary then it will be easy for you to replace your treasured photos.

More soon!

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Multi-Purpose Items:

Stock up on multipurpose items.

See the Alternative Uses For Everyday Items section on Savannah Arsenal’s Prepper Cheats & Tricks Page.

More soon!

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Pantry Organization:

Organize all your canned items in your pantry.

More soon!

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House Utilities:

Learn how to shut off house utilities.

More soon!

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Know Your Disasters:

Prepare for the type of natural disasters that may occur in your area (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms, wildfires, etc.).

More soon!

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