Suburban America is generally seen as a safe, calm place to raise a family and be part of a community. Children go to and from school, parents commute to work and families make inviting homes of their houses. Sometimes, they even use a family movie night as an opportunity to watch a scary zombie movie, where the undead roam the streets, breaking into houses and feasting on the living. But what if that was more than a movie…what if it really happened?
Okay, zombies won’t really rise up to take over your town. But there are disasters in the real world where your first—and maybe last—line of defense might be your home. Given that, planning and preparedness is of the utmost importance. Natural disasters (as well as zombies) usually approach slowly and with warning, but not slow enough that you can hustle home and secure your entire homestead while they make their steady, methodical advance. If you take these tips to heart, you’ll survive intact.
A fire can engulf a home faster than you’d think, so if flames begin to get out of control in your house, be prepared to simply evacuate. Fleeing the building, you’ll certainly need an evacuation plan already in place for you and your family members.
Things to consider: Where will your family meet when disaster strikes? Do you have alternative routes or locations? Come up with mutually agreed meeting locations and run drills to go over evacuation routes, too. Your evacuation plans and meeting places may be slightly different depending on the type of emergency—review each with your family and practice regularly.
Evacuation plans are equally important if zombies do come calling. Try running impromptu zombie drills on Halloween, as kids in costumes aggressively searching for candy can effectively mimic the zombies’ quest for flesh. Some would argue that the kids are actually more dangerous.
Assess your current disaster preparedness kit and list what it contains. Is it just a box of bandages, a flashlight, and a couple stale crackers? Your kit should include a battery-operated radio, non-perishable food, medicine, tools and supplies, clothing and bedding, first aid supplies, sanitation and hygiene products and extra batteries for your flashlight. We suggest a kit with at least three days worth of supplies.
MREs (meals ready to eat), beef jerky, and any other type of camping food are perfect and require little in preparation. Peanut butter will keep your body sustained for long periods of time and will keep hunger staved off longer than most foods. Avoid meat, as it spoils easily and requires a grill or fire to cook. Raw or undercooked meat of any type can be dangerous.
This may be the most important yet obvious part of your preparedness plan. If you’re in your house when disaster strikes, you better have supplies on hand to create a fortress of solitude—or anti-zombietude. A flood of zombies isn’t unlike a flood of water—they’ll find any possible opening to get into your house and wreak havoc.
Trim nearby trees to eliminate any weak branches that could fall and break through windows, and ensure bushes and shrubs aren’t overgrown to the point where they can add to any weather-related damage. Repair any issues with the roof and gutter system, and make sure all exterior doors are sturdy and sport working deadbolts.
If you’re legitimately worried about a large-scale catastrophe consider a well-constructed and well-stocked safe room that can provide safety and security against almost any disaster (zombie-related or not).
Last, but certainly not least, you should make sure your insurance coverage is up to date. Do you have coverage for additional living expenses should you need to evacuate your home? Do you have coverage for your valuables, or how about comprehensive coverage for your vehicle? Do you have an up-to-date inventory and recent photographs of your personal possessions?
If not, don’t wait for disaster to strike. Download Allstate’s free Digital Locker™ mobile app now and create a room-by-room inventory of your personal possessions. This is an especially great tip for damage incurred by natural disasters. Check with your agent today to make sure you’re properly insured.
The best defense is proper planning. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.