Temporary Home and Building Repairs After Extreme Weather Emergencies and Disasters

Continued from part 1…

Equipment and Supplies:
Consider the following supplies essential to providing you, your family or co-workers with a temporary shelter repair or improvement capability in the event of disaster. Also, look around and be sure to position common yard maintenance tools (e.g. brooms, rakes, shovels etc.) where they can be easily located and used to clean up after a disaster event.

Storage Container: Your emergency shelter supplies will do you no good if they are lost in the disaster. Store these critical resources in durable water and, crush resistant container you can easily carry. The container can also be used to collect potable water or transport debris during clean up and recovery.

Personal Protective Equipment. Trying to affect a temporary repair during or after disaster can be dangerous. Gloved hands will allow you to clear debris like broken glass, or sharp ceiling grid metal preventing cuts and scrapes. Protective eye goggles can protect your vision from high winds, blowing dirt and debris that can potentially take you out of action. Disposable N95 respirators (masks) have a multitude of good uses in addition to their basic use to protect your nose, mouth and lungs from particulates. If you are wearing bunny slippers or flip flops you might want to think twice about conducting building repairs! Sturdy footwear is advised if available.

Tarps. No good emergency sustainment system should be without at least one sturdy tarp! A tarp is a true multi-functional emergency device available in a multitude of sizes and materials. Consider a plastic tarp larger than 8’x10’ with grommets down each side to allow for various uses. A tarp can be used to cover a damaged home roof as well as covering a large expanse of broken windows in a commercial establishment. In a pinch you can even construct emergency shelters to protect people who have lost their homes or protect physical assets from rain, sun, wind etc.

Plastic Sheeting. Plastic sheeting is an essential component of your Shelter-In-Place system. Once you’ve pre-cut all the shapes needed for your designated sheltering room (e.g. HVAC ducts, power outlets, doors, windows, etc.) the remainder can be set aside for window repair or roof leak water diversion.

Rope, Bungees and Wire Ties. A long length of rope or popular and very useful 550 cord can be cut to lengths needed to tie down a tarp, secure doors or leash a pet. If you’re faced with windy conditions bungee’s can be used to secure a tarp over large roof damage areas keeping it taut. Wire ties are a good idea for securely closing and holding broken doors, gates etc.

Duct Tape. A roll or two of Duct Tape goes a long way towards making temporary repairs and is an important component of your Shelter-In-Place program. Broken doors and window openings can also be closed with plastic sheeting Duct Taped to the frames to keep rain out. Screen tears can be repaired to prevent flies, mosquitoes, and bugs from coming into a house. As part of your mobile vehicle emergency system you can even use Duct Tape to repair a radiator hose. Let your imagination run wild on more ideas to use Duct Tape as an emergency resource.

Tools. A good basic tool kit can indeed be a lifesaver in any emergency situation. For general purpose use, think about a keeping a set of good multi-tools both in your vehicle and as part of your emergency repair kit. Gerber, Leatherman, SOG, and Victorinox all make good ones. Since multi-tools are lightweight and multi-functional, they can be indispensible in many emergency situations. There is no doubt you’ll need an actual tool kit, to handle the tough demands of disaster recovery temporary home and building repair. Here we’ve listed what research shows to be the basic essentials of a good tool kit, obviously the more tools you have the better off you are!

  1. Pry Bar
  2. Claw Hammer
  3. Wood Saw
  4. Hack Saw and spare blades
  5. Pliers: Standard, lock and adjustable
  6. Adjustable Wrench
  7. Screw Drivers; Flat, and Philips heads, both medium and large
  8. Fasteners: Wood and metal screws, fender washers and nails
  9. Tape Measure
  10. Scissors
  11. Knife
  12. Portable Lighting: (e.g. headlamp etc.)

If you have the budget, a requirement and training a chain saw is a must have to remove deadfalls, and downed trees from roadways. Don’t forget the 2 cycle oil-gas mix and safety gear!

While many may try to hold on to the fallacy that “it will never happen here” consider if you will this very interesting video on the potential for substantial earthquake of 6.0 or greater in the New Madrid Fault Zone that covers 5 states located in the Midwestern United States. “If” such an event were to occur, damage to structures would be significant. An intriguing full length video on the New Madrid Fault Zone can be found in the ICE PACK video resources section here.

You can go to any home improvement store and purchase these affordably priced common everyday building repair tools and supplies. During a disaster they will be nearly worth their weight in precious provisions like water, food and medical supplies. Take positive action and prepare yourself with the necessary tools and supplies to affect temporary repairs to your home, office or workplace.