One of the biggest categories of disasters that we prepare for are natural disasters. They are also the most common disasters to occur. So, it would seem logical that we would put a lot of attention into how to prepare to survive those natural disasters.
One of the critical things that we are likely to end up dealing with, both during and after a natural disaster, is damage to our homes. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and even winter blizzards can cause significant damage to our homes. In many cases, local building contractors will be overwhelmed by the amount of repairs that need to be done and local building materials centers will sell out of critical materials.
The solution is to be prepared for making emergency repairs. This doesn’t mean fixing the damage so it looks like new; it means fixing it well enough so that rain and wind can’t come in the home. A broken window doesn’t need to be replaced by a new one, it needs the broken glass covered by some other material to keep inclement weather out.
This is nothing more than crude repairs, requiring a minimal material list. But if you don’t have those materials on hand, you might end up paying a premium for them.
- 2”x 4”s – The basic structural element in any home. Can be used to support temporary walls, ceilings, floor repairs and anything else.
- Plywood – Being in sheets, plywood can be used to cover up areas of the home which have been broken, such as a damaged roof or wall where a tree fell on the home.
- Blue Plastic Tarps – Great for covering up a damaged roof, such as one damaged by hail. Just be sure that one edge of the tarp goes over the roof peak, so water can’t run under it.
- Furring Strips or Drywall Shims – To use in nailing down the blue plastic tarps. Nail heads will pull through the tarp, so something is needed as a really big washer.
- Visqueen (clear plastic sheeting) – Good for covering broken windows, as it will still allow light in. Can be taped in place, with duct tape or stapled, but best to do both.
- Various Fasteners – You’ll need nails and screws for pretty much any repair.
- Plumbing Caps – If plumbing pipes become broken, the municipal water authority will shut off your water. But all you need to do is solder (for copper) or glue (for PVC) a cap on the broken pipe and the rest of your home can have water.
- Electrical Tape and Wire Nuts – If part of your home becomes damaged and there are wires exposed, it may be necessary to cut off those wires and cap them, for safety.
This list should cover most situations; but the other thing you’re going to need is tools. You don’t want to have to count on power tools in this sort of situation, as the electricity might be down. If it’s not, that’s great; but if it is down, then you’ll want to have manual tools that you can use to do the work.