You can have all the food, water, and gear in the world, but unless you have a plan, it won’t do you much good. Knowing how to best use your emergency preparations will help keep you safer and more in control. Follow these steps to begin constructing your emergency plan:
- Make a list of all the disasters that are a possibility in your area and how they could affect where you live, work, and go to school.
- Write out a plan for each of those disasters that could happen. Include your family’s phone numbers and out-of-state contacts’ phone numbers as well.
- Take into account any special needs in your family, such as medical, elderly, or baby needs that you may need to accommodate.
- Have plans for sheltering in place at home as well as what you would do if you had to evacuate.
- Find at least two meeting places for your family to meet up in case of an emergency – one near your home, and another elsewhere, just in case you’re unable to return home.
- Next, make a list of things you would need to survive, as well as items that bring comfort, such as toys for children or a book for you.
- You should have an emergency kit ready to take with you at a moment’s notice. If asked to evacuate, you may have 5 minutes or less to leave, which, all things considered, is possibly less time than you need to get your kids in shoes and out the door!
- Practice your plan. It should be instinct to act, rather than having a feeling of franticness and confusion.
- Share with your children. No matter how young, they need to be involved in the planning and practicing of your plan.
- Repeat often
Click here for some helpful planning worksheets and other resources to help with your planning efforts.