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The only thing that’s worse than a disaster happening in your home is to not be prepared for it – whether it be a small accident or a larger issue, it always pays to be ready…

9 ways to prepare for home disasters - unexpected disasters at home and how to prepare for the worst

© Francesco Alessi | Dreamstime.com


I really hope that you never have any type of home disaster of your own to contend with, big or small, but I’m sure that if you are prepared for as many eventualities as possible then you will be better off as a result – and being prepared is what I wanted to talk about today.

Even just knowing what to do or who to call when things happen will save a lot of extra stress during what will potentially be an already stressful situation.

Getting prepared up front will take a little time and effort, but you will thank yourself many times over if anything should happen (and fingers crossed it never does).

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What types of disasters are there?

There are basically two different ways that your home could expect a disaster – something due to outside the home, or something within the home – let’s take a look at each one more closely: –

Disasters due to outside influences

These are things that happen to your home as a result of something happening outside. The list contains things like: –

  • Flooding – the UK has seen far too much of this over the past few years
  • Storms
  • Snow and cold weather
  • Power cuts
  • Burglary

Disasters within the home

These are things that happen within your home – either by something going wrong, or by human involvement, and could be any or the following examples: –

  • Water leak
  • Fire
  • Damaged possessions
  • Lost possessions

9 ways to prepare for home disasters - unexpected disasters at home and how to prepare for the worst

I’m sure you could add a few more to the list (and please leave a comment at the end of this post if you want to add any, or you have a story of a home disaster that you have had to deal with). It’s quite scary when you see them all written down as to how much can happen…

With all these different ways that we could experience disasters at home, it makes sense to prepare as much as possible – I’m sure you agree.

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As such, here are my 9 ways to prepare: –

  • Know your home. Go around your home and ensure you know what everything does. It is amazing that most of us have a few electrical/technical things that we haven’t a clue about in our own homes. For instance, do you know where you stop cock is if you have a water leak? Could you turn the electrics back on if they tripped? Can you get to your boiler to check it’s OK etc…. Knowing these things could minimise any damage from an unexpected disaster.
TIP – Write down everything in an easy to find place so that everyone in the family (or a babysitter etc…) could grab it in an emergency. I use my Home File for this, but just a sheet of paper on the back of a cupboard door would work well too.
  • Be insured – if anything happens in your home, it could cost a lot to fix. Having the correct insurance in place makes sense.

TIP – Always make sure that you are covered for everything you need to be. Things like accidental damage of your possessions may well cost more to insure, but may be worth it for you. Think about what you need very carefully as it is too late once something happens.

  • Be careful when you are away from home in winter. If you go away (even for one night) when it is cold outside, never turn your heating off completely. Keeping the water warm will stop pipes bursting and costly repairs.
  • Use washable paint – Investing in a wipeable/washable paint when decorating will ensure that any scribbles from your kids will be a distant memory after a quick wipe down. Much better than having to repaint the entire wall…
  • Invest in the right furniture for the job – Imagine how it would feel if your TV was damaged because someone bumped into the furniture it was on and that furniture was not really right for the job… Investing in the right furniture and making sure it is sturdy enough for the job and secured to the wall if necessary will mean less accidents will happen.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher – If you have a small kitchen fire, then having a fire extinguisher or fire blanket could stop the fire from getting out of control.
  • In a blackout, do you know where to find a torch, where to find the trip switch, or who to call to find out what the issue is? Keep a torch by your bedside table (even your mobile phone may have one, so know where it is), go through your electrics with whoever knows whats what, and write down who to call should a blackout occur.
  • First aid kits are essential – In any home (and car) you should have a first aid kit to hand, and ideally the knowledge of some first aid. Just in case. You can find quick first aid courses in your local area quite easily online, and this could potentially save a life.
  • What is your local weather like? Whether you live on land known for flooding, earthquakes or other natural disasters – you need to ensure you are prepared for what you may well have to face at some point. Research what you need to protect your home as much as you can, and ensure that you home is laid out appropriately to deal with the emergency should it arise.

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9 ways to prepare for home disasters - unexpected disasters at home and how to prepare for the worst


How many of these have you already got in place?

Home disasters unfortunately do happen, and its always better to be as prepared as you possibly can be.

If you do only one thing today, make at least one step towards ticking all the above items off your TO DO list – your future self will thank you for it….



I would like to thank Together Mutual Insurance (@TogetherIns) for sponsoring this post. They currently have 40% off their home insurance, please CLICK HERE to find out more. As always, all words and opinions in the post are my own and not those of Together Mutual. 

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