Depending on the area you live in, chances of natural disasters like flooding, fire, earthquake, severe storms, landslides and even something as inconvenient as the electricity going out for several days are always there.
We don’t have control over what potential disasters could strike our own neighborhood, but we do have control over how prepared we are.
Think back to the last time you watched the news and saw footage of empty store shelves and lines a mile long to buy energy sources like gasoline or propane. The people waiting in those lines or hoping to find basic needs at an already cleaned out store are the ones who didn’t prepare ahead of time.
We all hope bad things never happen to our corner of the world, but the reality is, things happen that are out of our control so it’s better to have a disaster preparedness plan in place just in case…
If a disaster strikes your area, basic needs like water, food, energy, shelter and security become critical to your survival. Your home might be damaged from the weather, you might not have water or power, or worse still, you might not even be able to enter your home, because it’s been rendered unsafe.
First and foremost, get to know about the type of disasters that could happen in your area, so that you can prepare accordingly. Every region in the United States has different weather patterns, risk of earthquakes, flood planes and more. Be aware is the first step to planning for emergency situations.
1. Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan
Arrange a family meeting and have an open discussion about why you’re choosing to be prepared for the ‘just in case‘ scenario.
Work as a team and mutually agree on several scenarios so that everyone has a clear understanding of what they should do in case of an emergency.
Remember, things like cell phones and other communications often go down in times of crisis and having two potential meeting places to meet if everyone is separated is the first action plan to make.
- Home is always the first choice
- But if you’re all unable to return to your home, make sure a second backup location is agreed upon
Agree on a family contact that doesn’t live near your area so if communications are up, everyone can check in, give their condition or location and touch base.
2. Implement Your Plan
- write down all emergency numbers and hand it over to each member
- teach your kids when and how to call the local medical services in times of emergency
- show each member of your family how to turn off gas, water and main switches of electricity
- install a fire extinguisher at your home, show your family where it is kept and how they should to use it
- make a disaster supply kit and stock emergency supplies
- make sure each member of your family, even kids have basic first aid knowledge
- find safe places in your home where you could go in case of disasters
- inform the person you’ve picked to be your emergency contact
3. Maintain Your Plan
- do not forget to review your plan every six months, so that its gets fresh in everyone’s mind
- conduct emergency and fire evacuation drill
- recharge and test your fire extinguisher as per the manufacturer’s instructions
- test the smoke detectors on a monthly basis.
- replace stored food and water on a regular basis.
- update your first aid supply Kit