26 May 2014

Do You Have an Emergency Plan

No....I'm not talking about a hurricane plan or even a fire escape plan.  I'm talking about an I'm away from home and an emergency occurs plan.  Before you even think we had something happen at our house, it didn't.  But Saturday night while watering the plants on our front porch I heard water dripping.  The sound was water hitting a piece of metal.  My first thought was it hasn't rained in over a week so where on this earth was it coming from.  I stood silent for just a bit and realized it was across the street.  As I began to walk up the drive the sound got louder and then I could see that the house across the street had water falling onto their copper roof over their bay window.  At this point I should mention that I have NEVER met these neighbors, seven years I've lived across the street and we've NEVER spoke...can you relate?  Do you have neighbors you've never met?  Back to the story, I get Honey to walk with me over to their house and speak with them if they are even at home.  When we got close to their house you could really see that their was a good bit of water dripping down the side of their house all coming from their attic,  ya'll that is TWO floors that water is seeping into.  This pic doesn't show the whole truth as I took it after a nice hot day but later in the day it was really looking bad!

 Ya'll....they weren't home!  So what is a neighbor to do?  Honey suggests that we call their security system and see if they can get in touch with them, so we do.  This yielded on results as the security company could not reach them.  After much debate we realize we have done all we know to do.  So we sit back and watch more water drip...for more than 24 hours we watch.
Last night while outside pruning shrubs, I see some ladies walking and I stop them and ask if they know the neighbors and explain the situation.  One lady immediately knew someone that did know them and that person was able to get in touch.  They won't be home until ....Wednesday!  YIKES!!!  They ask if we could cut their water off to their house and we (a bunch of housewives)stood and debated what it could be that was leaking.  After much debate we decide we need a man!  Enter another neighbor...a man!  He immediately knows that this isn't a broken water pipe but most likely it is their condensate drain to HVAC Unit.  Long story short....we pull the breaker in order to shut off the unit, which will in turn ultimately stop the water.
All of this made me think about what they could/should have done to prevent this.  And not just them but any of us! I haven't blogged about this but about 3 weeks ago we were gone from our house about an hour and a half, when I walk in there is water streaming down the wall of our powder room.  I knew immediately that it was either the HVAC or the other water heater....it was the water heater.  We had been through this before and realize that you have absolutely no warning when those are going to go out and typically they drain outside your home....our drain was stopped up...so now the powder room waits to be repainted and the carpet in John's room will need to be replaced. We've had enough friends that have had problems just as this that arose that anytime we are away we have people come in and either house sit or at least do a twice a day pop in.  We have supplied both neighbors with emergency numbers along with the name of our vet just in case something happens with the pets.  On that list are names of friends that actually know how to access our house for a just in case.  USA Today actually has a great guide and suggestions for what measures you should take before you go on vacation.  Take a look at those here!  And what about those neighbors that we don't know...maybe now is the time to just walk across the street, meet them and exchange phone numbers!

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  1. How terrible but thanks for posting! Yes - must put some plans (and spare keys) in motion!

  2. Wow, what a great idea! It's funny, we were much closer to our neighbors in our former subdivision. We all looked out for each other. I do have a pet sitter that enters our home each day while we are gone. She will check on the house, bring mail in, etc. Thanks for all the suggestions! This is really terrible!

  3. My brother had a similar incident while he was gone on a cruise and had boarded the dog. His hose to the washer broke and flooded the place. It was way more than the pan beneath the washer could hold.

  4. You have a very good point. We talk to our neighbors, but have never given them our phone number. Our hoa has a directory, but I don't know if anyone would think to look it up. After our countertops were installed a couple of weeks ago, I ran the dishwasher, not realizing that they had turned off the water to it. I started noticing a burning smell, and realized it was the heating element. If I had turned on the dishwasher and left the house, and something had fallen onto the element, we could have had a fire. Yikes!

  5. Great advice Tamyra. Definitely something to think about before you go out of town. Kathy


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