September is National Preparedness Month and serves as a great time to get ready for any catastrophe that comes your way. As the saying goes, “better to be safe than sorry.” The Ready Campaign, in partnership with the Ad Council, encourages families to observe the entire month as an opportunity for education and awareness in case emergency strikes.

During March 2021, we’ve had a bulk of severe storm reports that came up from NE Texas across Arkansas into East Tennessee. Natural disasters such as tornados or human-caused disasters such as wildfires can cause several issues that professionals, families and contractors need to be aware of as they continue their daily lives.

John Quinlan once said, “Preparedness is the only way we can combat a natural disaster.”

How can I get my business, family or new build prepared for a disaster?

Week 1 September 1st – 4th: Create a Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the COVID-19.

Safety should be your priority, always. Make your plan centered on protecting your family. From there, make a plan to protect your home, office or new construction during a disaster.

Here are some tips to protect your HVAC system during severe weather:

  • Make sure you’re condensing system has the appropriate base – we can advise you on the best base for your unit during your initial assessment or HVAC installation with us!
  • Utilize a surge protector
    • At City Heat and Air Conditioning, we know the type of weather that happens the Tennessee Valley because we live here ourselves. For over 50 years, we’ve served Knox, Blount, Anderson and Sevier Counties with the best quality HVAC systems and maintenance and repair services in East Tennessee. A surge protector will “take the hit” electrically and protect your HVAC system in your home, office or new construction. They are well worth the investment.
    • Have a time delay relay installed or make sure your digital thermostat has a time delay programmed into it as a safety feature. This will allow your cooling or heating system to equalize and reduce stress on your system when the light flickers on and off during a tornado or severe storm. Digital thermostats with this feature are recommended. Need help on deciding which thermostat to purchase for your new construction? Give us a call! We’re happy to access and give you a recommendation.
    • Shut your cooling or heating system off during the storm. If a tornado or severe weather is approaching, it can be very damaging to your HVAC system. Why? If there is no power, it cannot surge. Only a direct lightning strike can counter that. As you might guess, the odds of a direct lightning strike hitting your HVAC unit are much lower than a power surge. Only turn off your HVAC system if you have enough time to do so. First, turn it off at your thermostat; and then, turn it off at the electric panel or breaker box. Make sure no air is cycling before the second step prior to turning the power completely off.

What Supplies Do I Need for A Disaster Kit?

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home.  Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Cash
  • Prescriptions
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Pet and Baby Supplies
  • Cell phone with chargers and a fully charged backup battery charger (one that doesn’t require an outlet to charge your device)

Check out additional supply recommendations here.

What Should I Consider When Making an Evacuation Plan?

Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family.  Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.

  • Get your HVAC system evaluated if you haven’t done so in 10 or more years
  • Depending on the disaster heading your way, you might have time to prepare. Here are some suggestions to consider when making an evacuation plan:
    • Unplug smaller electronics and appliances. Leave the fridge and freezer plugged in unless flooding is likely
    • Leave a note with your time of departure and your destination.
    • Clear the yard of anything that’s not secured – loose lawn furniture could get turned into missiles
    • Relocate your valuable items to an upper level of your house in case of flooding
    • Protect your electronics by wrapping them up, preferably in plastic
    • Lock up the house tight – board the windows and bolster the doors against any high winds
    • Change into clothes that are practical and comfortable
    • Check in with your friends and family to see if they need any help or a ride – especially the elderly or someone you know that doesn’t have a way out

What Should I Teach My Kids about Disasters?

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

There are games available to reinforce the lessons you go over with your kiddos online. Check them out here and have fun as a family as you prepare for the unexpected. We hope you never have to put this information to use but knowledge is power AND protection.

Be Prepared for Anything That Comes Your Way with the Best HVAC Technicians in East Tennessee!

At City Heat and Air Conditioning, we are the HVAC System experts that you want by your side as you consider a HVAC system or maintain the unit you have. We want to help you make the best heating and cooling decisions for your home, business, or new build. Give us a call to get started with a free quote or to schedule a consultation: 865-938-1005

Did Emergency Strike at your Location?

We’re Pleased to Offer 24 Hour Emergency Services

Reach our technicians for emergency services at your home, office or new construction site!

Prevent emergency HVAC breakdowns with regular service. Schedule your fall preventative maintenance inspection to avoid any interruptions in your service to your home, new build or commercial location.

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Resources:

https://www.ready.gov/september
https://www.ready.gov/business
https://www.ready.gov/kids
https://www.ready.gov/be-informed