Do You Have A Family Emergency Plan?
We have seen and heard about a lot of natural and man-made disasters recently. Some of them were on the news, while others may have hit a little closer to home. If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time, to come up with a family emergency plan! If you already have one in place, take a few minutes to review it, and make sure everything is still up to date and ready to use.
Step 1 – Be Aware of the Emergencies you may be Facing
Start by figuring out and making a list of the natural emergencies and disasters you may be facing in your area. Preparing for a tornado is very different from preparing for a hurricane, an earthquake, or a major snow storm. Be aware of the types of emergencies you may encounter and then read up on how to best prepare for each them. This information will become the basis for your family emergency plan.
Step 2 – Find a Safe Spot in your House
If you are going to wait out a disaster or emergency in your home, it’s a good time to find a designated safe spot. When the unexpected hits, you don’t want to get overwhelmed, and make a bad decision under stress. Think about the safest place now and make sure everyone in your household is aware of what and where that safe spot is. You can even stash a little emergency kit with a flashlight, emergency radio, and a bit of food and water in the spot just in case. How and where that place is will vary from home to home and emergency to emergency. Refer to your list and research from step one to make an educated decision.
Step 3 – Declare a Safe Meeting Spot Should you be Required to Leave
Some natural disasters and man-made emergencies will require you to evacuate. It’s a good idea to come up with safe meeting spots well ahead of time. Meeting up with a relative who lives further inland (for example) is a good plan when a hurricane is approaching.
Decide on a meeting spot and make sure each family member, including your children, knows where to meet up. You never know when disaster strikes and who may be where. If your kids are staying over at a friend’s house or are at school, you want to make sure they know where to meet up with you, if there is no way of getting them before you leave.
Step 4 – Keep Emergency Contact Info on you at all Times
Speaking of getting separated in an emergency, you never know what may happen, so it’s a good idea to keep contact info on you at all times. This should include any and all cell phone numbers of immediate family, along with landline numbers for friends or relatives who live further away, and who may be able to act as intermediaries.
It’s also a good idea to exchange email addresses. Make sure you use web based emails that can be accessed from anywhere. During the hours after 9/11 it was almost impossible to make a phone call. Email became a way to communicate when the phone lines overloaded. Text messaging may be another option when calls don’t go through.
Step 5 – Food, Water, and Medical Provisions
It’s good to have some emergency rations on hand. Keep enough clean water, food and any medication you may need around to last for a few days. By then emergency personal should hopefully have gotten to you. Again, the types of supplies and how long you should provision for, will vary from family to family and emergency to emergency. Do what you can to be prepared ahead of time.