Who would have thought a few months ago that spring would arrive and we’d have to be spending all our time indoors?
These are unexpected and unprecedented times indeed.
It looks like Calgary is going to be in virtual lockdown for a while as COVID-19 does its worst around the world.
However, we at Pete the Plumber believe in making the most of situations – whatever they are.
So, seeing as we’re practically confined to our homes, we’ve been thinking about some positive steps we can take to prepare the house and protect the people we love most in the weeks and months ahead.
The followings are a few practical tips that can help you take care of your family and avert problems while you’re at home together during these strange times.
1. Create an emergency contact list
First things first.
Most people in Calgary are already facing a strange situation where we can’t go to work, kids can’t go to school, and we are all forced to stay at home for a while.
You may not see it as an emergency right now but we do need to prepare for the worst.
Make sure that everyone in your household has access to a list of emergency contacts, including family members, friends, and neighbours.
However, we must also include the contacts we will call on if something goes wrong in the house or with the health of family members.
We should also include the people whom we need to stay in contact with for employment/schooling information.
Your list might include:
Health care providers
The local public health department
2. Ensure the essentials around the home are working
What if you face an ordinary, everyday household emergency that has nothing to do with COVID-19?
With everyone at home for longer, household systems will be put under more pressure. More people using more hot water, spending more time cooking, doing more laundry, using the toilet more, and so on.
Systems could easily fail unless you take some precautions.
What do you do if the hot water stops working or the boiler sprouts a leak, for instance? With our winter weather here in Calgary capable of extending well into spring, what happens if your radiant heating system or furnace stops working?
This can cause huge problems for households in Calgary even at the best of times. When the city is in a practical lockdown, it’s going to be a lot worse.
It’s not like you can take a shower at work or assume that you can pop round the neighbours and ask to use their laundry for a couple of hours.
It may also be difficult to find plumbers or other repair technicians at short notice (remember, though, that Pete the Plumber team is working through the outbreak with extra precautions for essential home visits).
With social distancing in place, we have to re-think how to remain as independent as possible as families at home.
It’s a good idea, therefore, to ensure that the heater, plumbing system, and all pipes are functioning properly early on in the stay-at-home phase.
If you suspect something is wrong with the plumbing, call us before the lockdown worsens.
3. Practice everyday preventive actions to reduce the risk of emergencies
We’ve all heard about people stockpiling toilet paper.
But what happens if people are left without it? Normally, other tissue paper gets flushed down the toilet.
And guess what? This is not designed to be used as toilet paper and does not break down. This leads to a blocked toilet that nobody can use.
You can take a little preventative action to ensure that the toilet and other essential household systems stay up and running during this difficult time.
Pin a note in the bathroom, toilet, and kitchen with essential information like:
- Reminder to use as little toilet paper as possible
A reminder that baby wipes, napkins, and other cleaners are not to be flushed down the toilet
How to preserve water
What to do if you notice any problems with heating or plumbing
Who to call in case of an emergency
Other useful COVID-19 resources
Most of the above tips are from a plumbers’ perspective. But many of us are also parents, husbands, aunts, uncles, cousins…
You get the picture. We have families and want to take care of them.
So, we’re following health guidelines as strictly as you are. In fact, because we need to visit homes for emergency repairs, we are taking extra precautions.
All of our plumbers use hand sanitizers before and after every call they complete and we are closely following information set out by Alberta Health Services.
If you need some further advice on how to prepare your household and practice good personal health habits to prevent the spread of COVID-19, check here.
And here is a simple checklist that you can use to make sure that you’ve got everything covered.
If you have children to care for, this page provides advice on how to look after their health during these testing times.
Most importantly, stay calm.
We are here to help, if needed.
This will pass and life will get back to normal. But, in the meantime, let’s fight this virus together.