Helpful Tips to Create a Family Emergency Plan
Disasters can strike at any time. Since you can’t always figure out where or when an emergency will occur, you and your family have to be prepared. Unfortunately, according to information from FEMA, almost 60% of adults in the U.S. have not taken the time to plan or practice what to do if a disaster strikes and just 39% of families have an emergency plan.
It is essential for you and your entire family to know what to do in an emergency situation. One of the best ways to ensure this is by creating a home emergency plan. This will help keep everyone on the same page and get to safety while minimizing chaos and panic.
Consider What Your Unique Needs May Be
The specific needs of your family and where you live are major factors you must consider when creating a home emergency plan. Be sure you understand what natural disasters may occur in the area and how to prepare for certain emergencies, such as tornadoes, volcanoes, flooding, or hurricanes.
Also, you need to figure out if you have to make any special accommodations for certain members of the family, such as infants or young children, people who have disabilities, or senior citizens. Also, consider the dietary or medical needs of all the people who live in your house.
Create a Disaster Supply Kit
This kit is a good way to get everything that you need in a single location so that you can leave in a hurry. Ideally, you should have a kit that will fit into one or two easy to carry bags. Also, make sure the kit is full of items that will help you survive on your own, for a period of at least 72 hours. According to the Department of Homeland Security, it is a good idea to include certain items in the disaster supply kit.
It is a good idea to review what is in your emergency kit at least one time per year. Replace any items that have expired and update what you are bringing to meet the changing needs of your family.
Know Where You Should Go
Take time to make a family communication plan. This plan needs to include information on how you will access local emergency alerts along with how you can stay in touch with your family. Be sure that everyone has emergency phone numbers in their phones and written down. This should include the local hospital, police station, and contact who does not live in the nearby area.
Sometimes, it will be easier to reach someone who lives out-of-town if there is an emergency that is affecting a certain neighborhood. Just make sure to designate a person as the out-of-area contact. This will be used to let everyone know they are safe.
Also, if you are in a disaster area, you can use the “mark yourself safe” feature through Facebook or you can register using the American Red Cross Safe and Well site. This will let your family and loved ones know that you are fine.
Take Steps to Protect Your Pets
While you make plans to deal with an emergency, you can’t forget about your four-legged friends. Be sure to make a list of all the pet-friendly hotels and any animal shelters that are along the evacuation route you plan to take. You also need to include your pet’s must-have items in your disaster kit. If you plan to leave them at home, installing a whole house battery back up system to keep things on and running may be a good idea.
Write Down the Plan and Practice It
Be sure that you write the emergency plan you create out on paper. It should include detailed instructions for any situation.
When it comes to planning for an emergency, it is essential that you prepare. This will ensure that you and everyone in your family know what to do. Remember, not everyone’s disaster plan will look the same, the key is to create one that is right for you and everyone who lives in your home.