SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Kevin Benedict, Adrian Bridgwater

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Master Lock Helps Consumers Prepare for Severe Weather

Company Offers Tips for Keeping People and Possessions Safe and Secure During Stormy Seasons

MILWAUKEE, WI -- (Marketwired) -- 09/03/14 -- North America is home to thousands of severe weather situations every year -- from thunderstorms to tornados and wildfires to hurricanes. Since many of these storms strike without much warning, Master Lock encourages consumers to prepare now to ensure their families and belongings stay safe during even the most tumultuous events.

"Storms can be devastating no matter what," said Rebecca Smith of Master Lock. "But there are some simple steps families can take now -- rather than when an emergency has already occurred -- to reduce their risk of loss and aid them in the recovery process, if needed."

Master Lock offers these tips to help families prepare for severe weather:

1. Learn the language. Beginning October 22, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in the U.S. will add two new threat levels to its weather outlooks for storm days at risk of producing tornados, hail or high winds. Risk categories will now include "enhanced" and "marginal," in addition to the existing "slight," "high" and "moderate."

In Canada, citizens can depend on Environment Canada for severe weather warnings and watches. In April, Environment Canada updated its list of alert types to more accurately describe the severity of different weather hazards.

Learn the language of your national weather advisory organization so you can prepare appropriately for severe weather.

2. Prepare in advance. Severe weather may strike without warning, so take the basic steps now to ensure your family is ready should a storm strike when you're home or away.

If you're home when weather hits, an updated emergency kit is essential. Consumers listed water and non-perishable food as the two most important items in their emergency kits, according to the 2014 Safety and Security Survey*. Store these items in a cool, dry place and replace them every six months to ensure freshness. By writing dates on containers when you store them, you'll know exactly when it's time to swap them out. Don't forget to pack for your pets, too.

In the event that severe weather hits while you're out of town, ensure that a trusted friend or neighbor has the appropriate codes to access your property if needed. A resettable combination padlock, such as the Master Lock M175XDLF Combination Padlock, is a convenient option for securing your gate or fence since it does not require a key. It also allows you to change the combination as often as you wish, including when you arrive back home for added security.

3. Create a backup plan. Personal memorabilia and family/business documents were listed as the top two items people would want to save from their homes in case of a severe weather situation. To ensure these important documents remain intact after an emergency passes, store them in a Sentry®Safe fire safe that offers protection against fire and flood. To aid with disaster recovery in real time, store digital copies of these important documents -- including insurance policies -- in a secure online storage hub like the Master Lock Vault. The Master Lock Vault is free and can be accessed 24 hours a day, via smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing for easy access in any situation.

4. Secure outdoor belongings. Storms can often be most damaging to the exterior of your home, due to either heavy winds or rain, or damaging hail or lightning. In case of inclement weather, lock up all possible outdoor belongings in a covered shed or garage, and secure the door with a padlock built to survive extreme weather situations, such as the Master Lock M115XDLF Covered Laminated Padlock. For items that can't be moved to an inside space, such as patio furniture, lock them tightly together and to another sturdy surface, if possible, with a secure cable and locking system like the Master Lock Python™ Adjustable Locking Cable. These tactics may also safe-guard your belongings against looters in the worst-case scenario if you are forced to evacuate your home.

5. Go cordless. Power outages are often associated with heavy storms. Be prepared by purchasing batteries for flashlights and weather radios and portable, external battery packs for charging cell phones when the power's out -- just be sure to keep the battery pack charged! If you lose power, remember to unplug all of your electrical appliances such as laptops, televisions and corded phones. Power surges can occur as the result of lightning and can damage plugged-in electronics and appliances. If you still have power during a lightning storm, avoid using corded (landline) telephones, as they can conduct electricity.

Visit www.masterlock.com for additional information or www.masterlockimages.com for high-res downloadable images.

About Master Lock Company
The Master Lock Company is recognized around the world as the authentic, enduring name in padlocks and security products. Master Lock Company offers a broad range of innovative security and safety solutions for consumer, commercial, and industrial end-users. Master Lock Company LLC is an operating unit of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., a leading consumer brands company. Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index. For more information about Master Lock visit www.masterlock.com.

*According to a May 2014 Safety and Security Survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted by Master Lock via SurveyMonkey.

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