Disaster Safety Tips: Building Safety Month

May is Building Safety Month. The City of Cape Girardeau will be spotlighting specific areas of building safety each week during May. This week’s focus is disaster safety and mitigation. Here are some tips to help you and your family during severe weather and other disasters.

  1. Develop a family action plan and share it with everyone in your family, so you will know where to go and what to do during disaster situations. Review at least two exit routes from your home or neighborhood to a designated meeting place for your family. Plan ahead for pets as emergency shelters may not accept them.
  2. Create a disaster supply kit that will allow you to remain in your home after a disaster or for use after evacuating to a safer location. Be sure the necessities in your kit are fresh and restored every six months.
  3. Stay tuned to radio, TV and NOAA weather radio for official updates and critical life saving weather information. Remember, reception is usually best if placed by a window.
  4. Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. It takes only 6 inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and 2 feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.
  5. Secure lawn furniture and any other loose outdoor items that can become windborne and can cause injury or damage during storms with high winds. Don’t forget trash cans, grills, toys and potted plants.
  6. Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado safe room in your home. Follow ICC/NSSA 500 or FEMA P-320 Standards for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
  7. Use Surge Protective Devices (SPD) in your home to protect electronic appliances from all but the most severe electrical surges or direct strikes. The devices should be installed to afford the highest level of protection.
  8. Before a winter storm, insulate all exposed water pipes outside the home. It is important to allow a slow trickle of water to flow during a winter freeze especially if the faucet is on an exterior wall. Remember, wrap and drip your pipes for the ultimate protection in a freeze. Also, remove all garden hoses from exterior faucets in winter.

More information

Building Safety Month Flier – Disaster Safety (Download PDF)

Community Emergency Response Teamcityofcape.org/CERT
Free disaster response training including light search and rescue and some first aid/medical operations for everyone.

Get free advice and learn more about disaster safety for your family and home by visiting the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc-Flash, at flash.org or iccsafe.org’s consumer safety pages.