If you had 10 minutes or less to evacuate your home, what would you take? In some cases there’s just enough time to grab the kids, your car keys and head for safe ground while fire or flood waters nip at your heels – unless you have a plan! Northern Colorado is ripe pickings for all kinds of natural and man-made disasters big and small.

Tornadoes, torrential rainstorms and highway-closing blizzards routinely cross our states. Grass fires, faulty wiring and frozen pipes can be disasters-in-the-making as well. A car crashing through your living room window is never expected, but it happens, potentially leaving you displaced for at least a few days while repairs are made.

Make today the day you make a disaster plan. Better Business Bureau advises:

For disasters that keep you homebound, make sure you have one gallon of water per person per day for three days along with a three-day supply of nonperishable food for each family member. Along with this, have ready a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, dust masks, a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, and power inverter or solar charger for your cellphone.

Include prescriptions (at the very least a list of prescriptions), infant formula and diapers, pet food and cash. Place copies of important family documents such as insurance policies, identification and financial records in a waterproof, portable container that is kept near the escape route. Pencil and paper, paper cups and plates along with plastic utensils could be useful. And if you have kids, pack some games, books or puzzles.

Know in advance where you and your pets and/or livestock can go in case of an emergency that forces you to leave your home and who to contact in the case of an emergency. An out-of-town friend or relative is ideal as an emergency contact person, especially in instances when family members are at several locations – school, work, traveling – and normal communication channels are down.

Need more tips? Check out ready.gov for emergency planning strategies for both home and business.
Start With Trust. For reliable consumer tips and information, visit wynco.bbb.org or call 970-484-1348 or 800-564-0371.

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