As many regions approach peak hurricane season — and others face dangerous wildfire and flooding periods of the year — it’s imperative to take proactive steps to ensure loved ones and irreplaceable assets stay protected, even in the most unexpected circumstances. “Preparedness” has taken on a new meaning this year amid a global pandemic and a recovering economy, making it more important than ever to plan ahead and invest in dependable solutions.
“In our line of work, we have to be prepared for disasters every day,” said Brandon Schmidt, chief of Rainbow Volunteer Fire Company, located in White Oak, Pennsylvania. RVFC was one of the 1,000 recipients that received a complimentary Bluetooth® lockbox as part of Master Lock’s latest donation initiative benefiting healthcare workers, first responders, and small business owners in May 2020. “Part of being prepared is using products you know you can trust in case of an unexpected emergency, which is especially important during these uncertain times.”
Recent extreme weather events have already led many experts to forecast more potentially dangerous storms on a more frequent basis. In April alone, 351 tornadoes were recorded throughout the country, many of the worst being in Tennessee. Additionally, a recent NOAA study predicted more tropical storms throughout 2020 as a result of the Atlantic Ocean’s warmer-than-normal temps and record-setting heat — something the East Coast has already experienced with the recent Hurricane Isaias.
With National Preparedness Month in September, The Master Lock Company is sharing the following advice to help people prepare for such disasters, while safeguarding everything worth protecting.
1. Plan to plan ahead.
Think through what your family and household may need in an emergency, and be proactive in preparing food, water and medical supplies. Importantly, dedicate extra time to the process of gathering supplies, as access to resources is often limited in advance of a storm, as seen with some retailers recently struggling to keep up with product demand during the pandemic. If shopping in-store is your only option, take proper sanitary precautions when running essential errands.
2. Invest in a lock box.
A lockbox can be a reliable household security option should friends or family need access into the home during an emergency or if wellness checks need to be conducted for a loved one. To help securely manage home access and minimize physical contact with the device, consider battery-powered options like the Master Lock® Portable Bluetooth® Lock Box or the Master Lock® Wall-Mount Bluetooth® Lock Box, which function via smartphone or a personal code.
3. Secure valuable and irreplaceable belongings.
Keeping your most important documents, photos, valuables, and even PPE in a protected location can become critical during a disaster, especially if you must quickly evacuate during a flood or fire. Consider preparing an emergency “go kit” containing crucial items that can be permanently stored in a portable fire- and water-protected safe like the Sentry®Safe Fire/Water Chest. The Sentry®Safe Combination Fire/Water Safe is also a great option for securing any non-essential items you may not be able to take with you in an emergency, but still have immense monetary or sentimental value.
4. Brace your home.
Ensure trees are properly trimmed and that you’re maintaining adequate outdoor storage to secure lawn furniture and other loose items. For added security, consider locking sheds using Master Lock’s Weather Resistant Padlocks. Homeowners living in vulnerable coastal areas should also consider installing hurricane windows or shutters to protect windows against high winds and storm debris.
5. Consider investing in secure storage.
Move expensive artwork, antiques, wine, cars, and/or other possessions to a temperature-controlled, generator-protected storage facility built for that purpose. These spaces are best secured with a durable, cut-resistant padlock.
In today’s environment, it’s become critical to incorporate disaster precautions into your regular preparedness plans. By understanding what kind of disasters are common in your area, and by having emergency plans to ensure the protection of loved ones and belongings, families can gain peace of mind even in times of uncertainty.
No matter the disaster, families can count on The Master Lock Company for durable and reliable solutions for everything worth protecting. For more information about The Master Lock Company’s disaster preparedness security products, visit www.masterlock.com/prepared.