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Household Disasters (Flood, Fire, Infestation): Don't Be Scared, Be Ready

Old fashioned bath tub

Until one happens to you, a household disaster is one of those things you read about in the local paper and shiver. The thing that you hope for is, firstly, that it never does happen to you. Secondly, if it ever does, you want above all for no-one to be harmed. Disasters such as floods, fire and infestation can cause a house to be destroyed, but that's a fixable thing. Lives cannot be so easily repaired.

One of our readers recently lost all of their material belongings in a house fire.  I feel so badly for their family, but thanks to the help of great insurance they have been placed in a great home and are waiting for their new home to be built.

Although it is to be hoped that you don't need it, a plan for if something like the above happens is essential. Bear in mind that most people go through life without it happening, so don't fear that it will. Being ready for something happening is not the same as accepting it will happen. All the same, get insured and pay the premiums each month, because if the worst happens, you don't want to worry about cost.

Situation 1: Flood

In any house, you are going to need a source of water. It's there for drinking, for appliances and the kitchen and bathroom. Along with this, if you live near a body of water, you can never be sure that a flood won't happen. If it does, it is important to save what you can save, get everyone away from danger and call for help.

My sister-in-law recently experienced a flood in her home that started in the upstairs bathroom.  The water came all the way down through the walls into the kitchen.  Though not a life-threatening flood, still an absolute disaster.  Thanks to their amazing insurance policy and knowledge of what should happen if a household disaster was to occur, they were able to get their entire kitchen, downstairs floor and upstairs bathroom replaced.

Situation 2: Fire

Possibly the most acute emergency that can happen in a home is fire. The sources of it can vary from lit cigarettes to appliances left on. From an open fireplace to faulty wiring. Take all measures that you can to minimize risk of it happening. In case it does, make sure that doorways and windows are not blocked, as you may need to escape the house. Call the emergency services and make sure everyone is safe.  Don't go back into a burning building unless you are sure you can do so safely.

Talking to your family about what each person should do in the case of a fire might be a good idea.  I am all about having a plan, and often lie awake at night thinking of the what-ifs and how I can get an emergency prep. plan in place.

Situation 3: Infestation

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Of the three examples, infestation is the one that is least immediate, but it can still make a home unsafe. Pests such as rats can carry germs that cause illness. Bees or wasps can naturally be a hazard to health, while termites and other such creatures can cause damage to the structure of a house. Depending on the extent of this damage, there could be a risk of collapse. Should this happen, contact pest control and get the damage assessed before taking any other steps.

We recently had a small issue with field mice getting into our kitchen.  We have a raised foundation in our home, so I'm assuming they gained access this way.  We went down to the pet store, picked up a cat and the problem seems to have gone away.

In all of the above situations, damage can be done to a house that makes it unsafe to live in. Get in contact with a service such as ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba to see how the damage can be repaired. Particularly if you have insurance, this need not cost an arm and a leg.

The unhappiness that can result from a household disaster is considerable. You may need to move in to temporary accommodations, like our reader mentioned above had to do.  It's good to remember what is important here, though.  As long as everyone is safe, "things" can be recovered or replaced. That's why being ready is the bottom line.

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