With all the visitors either coming over for a meal or staying the night, it’s no wonder that the holidays can become hectic. We all hope for little holiday emergencies like “I have to run out for more cranberry sauce.” We dread emergencies like “my whole family, my partner’s family, and eight dogs are all snowed in” or “every toilet in the house has backed up.” Unfortunately, such emergencies happen. With that in mind, here are ways to prepare for and cope with the really big emergencies that can come up over the holiday season:

Stock up on standard household emergency necessities.

The best way to cope with an emergency is to be prepared with a solution. For example, if the toilets all back up, you need a plunger handy. If you are all snowed in – let’s hope you have a shovel! Here are several emergency items you should get now – before the relatives come to stay.

  • Sink plunger and toilet plunger
  • Snow shovel and snow melting product
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Wrenches
  • Five-in-one painter’s tool
  • Swiss army knife
  • Any tools you know how to use
  • Work gloves
  • Dehumidifier
  • Portable heater
  • Fire extinguisher
  • A map of electrical and water shut off points
  • Hand warmers that you can shake to activate
  • A first aid kit

Keep all of these items in a centralized location so that your guests (and you) can find them easily.

Create an emergency numbers list.

We all know the number to call in case of severe emergency – 911. However, what if it’s a sewer emergency? Then who do you call? Creating an emergency contact number list that includes where to call both in the case of a personal emergency like an injury and a household emergency, like a backed up toilet, can get you and your family the help you need – fast. Once you’ve created this list, keep it somewhere that is easy to find, like on your fridge.

Note: Be sure to include emergency vet numbers too if you have some furry friends in your home. Your vet may not be open during a holiday, but it’s likely that somewhere in Portland is available to help.

Stock up on board games and food that doesn’t need to be heated.

Earlier this year we had a snowstorm that took out the power to many homes in Portland. While we may not have such an issue this year, it’s better to be prepared. Get several board and card games for your guests and be sure to have food available that doesn’t need heat or refrigeration.

Tell youngsters how they can help in a crisis.

Many children aren’t ready for an emergency to happen. This is understandable as their life experience is years behind that of an adult. However, talking to children gently and calmly and letting them know what they can do in a crisis will go a long way in a child being helpful instead of panicked. This doesn’t have to be a huge conversation, just let the child know that if they see something upsetting or that looks dangerous, to let an adult know right away. You can ask them for examples of this and coax them along with examples of your own like: a fallen Christmas tree in the living room, a fiery piece of wrapping paper on the carpet, and overflowing toilet, smoke pouring out of the oven, seeing someone hurt themselves, seeing a dog gobble up tape, etc.

Here at Clog Busters LLC, we hope no emergencies happen during your holiday season! However, by being prepared, we hope we can help you cope if something does come up – and get your holidays back on track as rapidly as possible.

Happy holidays from all of us at Clog Busters LLC!