Preparing the Garage for an Emergency

As you may have noticed from our blog and our social media posts, June is National Garage Door Safety Month. Since most of us operate our garage doors with remotes or buttons on the wall, we forget how large and heave this piece of machinery is and how dangerous it can be if it is not used properly or if we try to fix parts that are best left to the professionals. Your garage door is the largest moving part in your home and should always be treated with caution. Last week, we compiled a list of best practices for garage door and garage door opener safety. Make sure to review those before we move onto this week’s topic: preparing your garage for an emergency.

In Oklahoma, we get all kinds of crazy weather year round. Ice storms in the winter, thunder storms in the summer, tornadoes, hail, flooding and more. Two of the most devastating and potentially dangerous of all the weather-related occurrences that happen here are tornadoes and the damage they cause and extended power outages that can be caused by many types of storms. We don’t have to tell you how dangerous and devastating a tornado can be. Even a smaller one can be powerful enough to ruin homes and businesses, total cars, pick up and move around tress like they were sticks and potentially kill people. Larger tornadoes can flatten whole cities.

While they might not seem as dangerous as tornadoes, power outages can be just as deadly. Whether they are caused by a tornado, an ice storm or a squirrel that got too curious, power outages can be devastating for communities. In the winter, an extended power outage can mean people have to go days without heating their homes. In the summer, an extended power outage can mean people have to go days without cooling their homes. These can lead to deaths from heat stroke, freezing, exposure or other causes. A lack of power also means you cannot use appliances like the refrigerator and microwave, do not have light sources besides candles and have no way to re- charge phone or computer batteries.

Another factor that many people do not consider when there is a power outage is that their garage door will no longer work, which means they cannot use their car to go gather emergency supplies, drive a sick or injured family member to the hospital or do anything else outside the home that might be necessary in an emergency. Many people rely on their car in an emergency, but if they can’t access it because of a power outage, they can run into serious trouble. The best thing to do is make sure you are always fully prepared for any and all potential emergencies.

Make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit that includes water, non-perishable food, a battery-powered weather radio with extra batteries, a flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle or other noisemaker, manual can opener, maps, solar chargers for cell phones and anything else you think is necessary. Keep this in a place that will be easy to access in an emergency. Also make sure you know how to activate your garage door’s manual release so you can still operate your garage door in the event of a power outage. You can also consider installing a new, battery back-up garage door opener which automatically switches over to battery power once the power goes out so that you never have to worry about whether or not your garage door will be functional in an emergency.

If you have any more questions about garage door safety, or have a job that requires the experts, give us a call! In the greater Tulsa area—including Broken Arrow, Owasso, Bixby, Jenks, Sand Springs, Bartlesville and more—you can call us at (918) 234-3667. In the Oklahoma City area, you can call us at (405) 525-3667. In Southern OKC—including Moore, Norman and more—call (405) 848-6700. In Edmond or Stillwater, call (405) 348-2000. Find us on social media—we’re on FacebookTwitter and Google+. You can also go to the “free quote” section on our website to get started on an estimate today!