You may be installing the best security and burglar alarm system in your house. Additionally, you may have a large storage house of canned goods in case of outage or crisis, and you may have the most complete emergency kit in the house, but if you have don’t have an effective emergency plan, it will all go to waste. It actually takes less than an hour for you to formulate an emergency plan, have it printed and given to each member of the family. Families need to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.
Is your family prepared for the worst days? You don’t have to wait for the nightmare to come true for you to learn how to prepare for emergencies. Right now, you can actually grab a pen and paper, sit with the family and start discussing your emergency preparedness program. It may sound difficult at first to create an emergency preparedness program especially if you have not been through a crisis or natural disaster before. But to help you with this, it only takes a pen, paper and a little imagination or assumption of how an emergency disaster might happen.
What is emergency preparedness planning? Emergency preparedness planning refers to a set of activities and/or a list of reminders that will orient every member of the family on what to do in case of emergencies. A disaster can be of any form; it can be of natural causes like earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis, which are obviously inevitable. A disaster can be an accident like gas explosion, electricity accident or outage, fire, crime-related like burglary, home invasion or it can even be financial or economical disasters, such as money crisis, power outage and so on.
Even when you are at home, when you expect safety, disaster can still strike at a moments notice. When you leave your loved ones at home, how will you contact them in the case of emergencies, where will you meet, who will they call? These are just some of the questions that can be answered when you do an emergency preparedness program with your family.
First, make sure that every member of the family is present. Then identify the fire exit routes for your house. Note that a fire exit is not only intended during a fire accident, it is also applicable for other disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, and flooding; even crime-related home invasions is on the list. Exit doors are usually found in the kitchen, but what if the emergency took place in the kitchen, will the main door be a good option for exit. How about in rooms, do the kids have assigned routes to emergency exits?
The second thing you need to consider in your emergency preparedness program is a meeting place for your family. There might be case-to-case basis here. For example during a fire accident, determine which house or place your family members will be staying temporarily. If there is an incoming hurricane, orient the family to evacuate to a relative on a nearby city or state. It could be your favorite restaurant or a relative living nearby or the curb across the street from your house.
The third element in your emergency preparedness program is the list of contacts. Who, what, and where (Friends, Relatives) are living outside/inside your city or State? In the case of regional disasters such as hurricane or earthquake, it might be difficult to stay connected using local lines. Make it a point that every one in the family shares the same list of contacts. Your pets should also be a part of your emergency preparedness program. Unfortunately, however, pets are not allowed in evacuation and resettlement areas. You may leave your pets in a veterinary clinic or with a relative.
Assign a person who will pick up your kids when you cannot make it. Have a list of contact numbers of your neighbors. Keep a list of health conditions of your family. And inform everyone in the house about the location of floor drains, gas valves, water pipes, electrical boxes and fire extinguishers. Always check, keep, maintain and change your supplies in your emergency kits. You could be storing expired foods in your kits so make sure they are constantly checked for expiration. To avoid unnecessary spoilage of food in your emergency kits, make a schedule or calendar of maintenance or better yet eat the canned foods in your emergency kits.
As a final thought on emergency preparedness planning, teach your family on how to be responsive and manage stress during critical moments. Kids are typically afraid of scenes of injured people and are afraid of being alone. Keep your children calm and give assurance that everything will be all right. These emergency preparedness program tips are not enough for family. Each family requires different things and the things discussed in this article are just the beginning. Remember, being prepared eliminates many of the risks and ill effects of disasters are reduced.
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By Rodney Butler