Picture taken from: http://thebluediamondgallery.com/tablet-dictionary/e/emergency-plan.html
2017 has been filled with tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and even random act of the most terrible violence we could ever imagine. We saw families being torn apart and people being hurt physically and mentally. Preparing a family emergency plan is usually on the “we will get to it” list in most homes but it should really be a top priority. I am totally guilty of this too!
Like most things in life, we wait until something happens to make sure realize how important it is. I wanted to share this post because I have been doing research on putting together a plan for my family. It’s doesn’t have to be complicated, but making sure communication is in place and your children know the basics of what to do when something happens out of their control. I used www.ready.gov to help write this post and also create our own plan.
For a starting point, focus on 4 main areas:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- With our phones, there are so many ways to get emergency alerts. Here are a few you should sign up for: Emergency Alerts
- What is my shelter plan?
- This plan depends on the emergency that is happening. Often time we don’t realize it’s actualy safer to stay where you are rather than running to a place where you could get impacted. Here is information on the different types of shelters: Shelter Care
- What is my evacuation plan?
- Like the Santa Rosa fires, at times we may not have time to figure out what to do to evacuate and that is so scary. It’s important to know what to do before, during and after an evacuation. Here are some more tips on evacuation.
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- While my family and I were making our plan, we didn’t realize how critical this component of the plan was. With a 4 and 7 year old, it’s really important that the plan is tailored for their understanding also. Some of the important parts include teaching them phone numbers, how to text parents, how to call 911 and have a meeting place for your family if you get separated.
- Here is the template we used for our communication plan: Family Communication Plan
When creating your plan, sit down and think about your needs and responsibilities as a family. Things to consider include:
- Different ages of members within your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Locations frequented
- Dietary needs
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- Languages spoken
- Cultural and religious considerations
- Pets or service animals
- Households with school-aged children
So to all our families out there, take time to make the plan that works for you. It’s hard to find time and sit down to talk for a long time but you will feel a lot more comfortable after you have a plan in place.