We’re all trying to prepare for natural disasters, but there are numerous other man-made problems that could rear their heads and take us by surprise. Here are eight that you need to prepare for.
1. Burst Water Pipes
Since we’re still in winter’s grasp we have to worry about frozen water pipes if temperatures drop too low. But frozen water pipes aren’t the only way that pipes will leak. Pinhole leaks in copper pipes can come about through corrosion in areas with hard water and in older homes, and can appear with almost no notice.
2. Power Outage
Power outages often result from natural disasters but they can also happen out of the blue. Whether it’s a downed tree taking down power lines, a wild animal falling on wires at a power substation, or excessive demand in summertime, power outages can occur at any time without notice. Make sure that you have plenty of water on hand, an alternate method of cooling or heating, and never let your cell phone go below half a charge without recharging.
3. House Fire
Thanks to modern building codes and better construction of consumer goods, house fires are relatively rare today. But when they occur they can still be fatal. Make sure you have a plan in case your house catches on fire.
4. Home Invasion
Most people won’t ever have to deal with a home invasion but it can be a frightening experience. The best way to ensure that you won’t have to deal with one is to prevent it occurring by locking all your doors and windows and adopting security measures to scare off potential thieves. But if you still find yourself the victim of a home invasion, make sure you can fight off your attackers so that you don’t end up dead.
5. Gas Explosion
Gas explosions are relatively rare but they’re catastrophic when they occur. If you smell gas, report it immediately to your utility so that they can come and fix any possible leak. Allowing a potential leak to build up gas can lead to an explosion that could destroy multiple houses.
6. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Most carbon monoxide poisonings are the result of using gas-powered heaters indoors, improperly venting generators, or malfunctioning water heaters or furnaces. Most people don’t pay enough attention to the dangers of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which can easily be prevented by installing a carbon monoxide detector.
7. Chemical Spill/Groundwater Contamination
If you live near railroad tracks there’s always the possibility that a passing train could derail and spill any chemical cargo it’s carrying, forcing you out of your home. Chemical discharge from manufacturing plants into rivers could ruin municipal drinking water supplies. And long-term dumping of chemicals into the ground could leach chemicals into groundwater that may not become evident for years or decades.
8. Civil War
With a country that is becoming increasingly fractured politically, a Democratic Party that is intent on disarming gun owners, and political opponents who are more interested in demonizing each other than in defending personal liberties, the likelihood of a civil war grows greater every day. We’re probably still a ways away from outright armed conflict in the street, but when it happens it could snowball very quickly.