This is a very important part of your control journal. This is where you’ll write down all the information someone would need if there were an emergency in your house. Get a sheet of paper and, while you are calm, write down these emergency phone numbers. At the top of the page, write clear directions to your home, in case someone needs to tell emergency workers how to find the house:
- Call 911 if someone is hurt or there is a fire! If you don’t have 911 in your area, then list the numbers of the sheriff, police, and fire departments.
- List the names and phone numbers of your family doctors:
- General Practitioner
- Specialized doctors (such as OB/GYN, eye doctor, etc.)
- Poison Control Center
You may need them to meet you at the emergency room or work you in for a simple stitch or two!
- Your spouse’s contact information (cell number, work number) as well as your own in case someone needs to get ahold of you, such as a babysitter or homesitter
- The phone numbers of your next of kin, your parent(s), siblings, and/or a close friend that lives nearby.
- Your children’s school numbers.
- Numbers for insurance claims
- Phone numbers for your local utilities emergency numbers:
- Numbers for your favorite, most dependable repairmen.
- Appliance Repairman
- List the name of a reputable restoration company (companies that will come in and clean up smoke, fire, and water damage)
In case of an emergency…
- Do you know how to turn off your water if you needed to? Go look now behind the toilet for a valve to shut it off, as well as under the bathroom sink. There is also a way to get into the plumbing for the bathtub or shower. It is usually in a closet behind a little door, but this isn’t helpful if the closet is almost always piled to the ceiling!
- Could you turn off the water to the icemaker? There is usually a little valve under your kitchen sink attached to the main water line. It is not very big.
- Do you know how to turn off your hot water heater? If it is electric, there will be a circuit breaker in the main electrical box.
- Would you know how to turn off all the power to the house? There is a main circuit breaker in this same box. It is usually at the top of the panel.
- Could you turn off the water to the house if you could not find valves for each water line? If you have well water, all you have to do is turn off the power to the pump in the same circuit breaker panel. If you have city water, there is a meter at the street, and it takes a special tool to turn it off. You probably already have one; find out where it is kept and how to use it. You will be glad you did. Just knowing how calms you down.
- Now, if you have natural gas coming into your home, there is a valve that cuts it off, too. If you live in an earthquake- or hurricane-prone area, you need to know how to turn this off. It will take a wrench to do it. Find someone that knows how and learn from him or her. Then put that wrench where you can find it in case you need to shut off your gas.
- Now I want you to look at what you have sitting on the floor. When there is a flood, the damage occurs from the floor to about your knees. What do you have stored in these areas that would be ruined by floodwaters? Is it stored in waterproof containers? Could it be placed on a higher shelf? Think about this. The sewer could back up into your basement or rising floodwaters could invade your home. Take precautions now so you will not be sorry later.
- When was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors? If you burn fuel of any kind, you need to have a carbon monoxide detector. If you don’t have one, go buy one now! The small amount of money you spend now is worth your life and that of your family. This could save lots of pain and suffering. You can be very sick if your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide; it takes years to recover. Please get one and follow the instructions for installation.
Keep in mind, it is much easier FLY when you have a parachute. That is what this emergency section is for.