Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Chief Rutherford has some reminders for the community as the Emergency Management Director for the City of Farmington.

Winter - Snow and Cold Temperatures

As we navigate the ever-changing seasons of Minnesota, it's crucial to stay prepared for the unexpected. Minnesota is known for its beautiful landscapes, but it can also present challenges, from severe weather to unexpected emergencies. Here are some essential tips and information on how to ensure your home and auto are ready for any emergency that may come our way.

Home Emergency Preparedness
  1. Create a Family Emergency Plan: Develop a comprehensive plan with your family that includes communication, evacuation routes, and designated meeting points. Ensure everyone knows how to contact one another and where to go in case of an emergency.
  2. Build an Emergency Kit for Your Home: Assemble a well-stocked emergency kit that includes essential supplies such as non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, portable battery bank with a cell phone charging cable, and any necessary medications. Keep this kit in a readily accessible location.
  3. Weatherproof Your Home: Prepare for harsh Minnesota winters by insulating your home and protecting pipes from freezing. Install weather stripping and insulation to reduce heat loss. Have your furnace and/or wood burning fireplace inspected. Keep an emergency supply of blankets, warm clothing, and heating sources like portable heaters or a generator.
  4. Stay Informed: Sign up for emergency alerts and weather notifications in your area. Stay connected with your local community and receive updates from reliable sources, such as the Farmington Police Department.

Auto Emergency Preparedness
  1. Vehicle Maintenance: Regularly maintain your vehicle to ensure it's in optimal condition. Check the brakes, tires, battery, and fluid levels. A well-maintained vehicle is less likely to break down during severe weather.
  2. Build an Emergency Kit for Your Car: Keep a car emergency kit that includes items like a flashlight, blankets, non-perishable snacks, a first aid kit, a tool kit, and a portable battery bank with a cell phone charging cable. In winter, include items like an ice scraper, snow shovel, and sand or kitty litter for traction.
  3. Stay Informed: Monitor weather conditions before traveling, especially during the winter months. Plan your routes and check road conditions. Avoid unnecessary travel during extreme weather.

Spring - Storm Season

As we head into spring and summer, we are also heading into storm season. In the United States, 1 in 10 homes are affected by weather disasters, totaling tens of billions of dollars or more in damages every year. While there isn’t
much you can do about the storms themselves, there are things you can do to protect yourself.

Update Homeowners Insurance Policy
If you own your home, you should meet annually with your insurance agent and ensure that you have the right type and amount of coverage. Homeowners insurance isn’t like the Ronco Rotisserie Oven where you, “Set it and forget it.” If you purchased your home years ago and haven’t adjusted your coverage type and amount, you are probably underinsured. The worst time to make that discovery is after your home has been damaged or destroyed.

Expenses for Repair
While your home has probably steadily increased in value, the cost to repair or replace it has also been steadily increasing. Building materials are more expensive and harder to find. Skilled tradespeople are also in great demand and companies are paying more than ever to keep them on staff. All these factors make repairing or replacing your damaged home more expensive. Make sure you’re covered. Make an appointment with your insurance agent now.

Personal Property Inventory
Repairing or replacing your home’s physical structure isn’t the only consideration. You may also suffer significant losses of personal property. This applies to owners and renters (renter’s insurance is inexpensive). You should complete an inventory of all your personal property and update it annually. Keep a copy in a safe place, preferably off-premises and provide a copy to your insurance agent. If you can, take pictures of any valuables and record serial numbers as well.

Remember, you can’t do anything about the storm, but you can take steps to minimize your losses and give yourself a little peace of mind.

Summer -

Fall -

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