Do You Have a Family Emergency Plan?
Disaster strikes when we least expect it, and in emergency situations time is of the essence. Having an emergency family plan in place will allow you to react quickly and allow you to better prepare when a house fire, flood or other disaster occurs. It will also ensure your entire family is on the same page with a clear strategy in place and provide peace of mind everyday going forward.
So, where do we start? Have a family meeting and create a list of emergencies that may affect you and your home. Certain regions are more prone to natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, avalanches and flash floods. Whereas, others may want to be prepared for the possibility of household emergencies like a burst pipe that can cause severe flooding or a kitchen fire that can escalate quickly. When kids are involved stress the importance of being safe and encourage kids to participate in the planning process.
To prepare for a house fire, remember that an immediate evacuation is your first priority. Identify at least two primary exits and keep those areas clear of obstacles. Plan and map out access routes for all floors/areas of your house and designate a safe place, such as a neighbor’s yard for the final family meeting spot.
Create an emergency kit in a water and fire proof storage container. Mark it as the family emergency kit and fill it with important medical records, insurance and identification information. In case of a fire or flood, you’ll be happy knowing these things are safe. Ensure your kids know how to call 9-1-1 and help them memorize important emergency contacts in case of evacuation or separation.
Don’t forget your beloved furry family members! When immediate evacuation occurs, it is not recommended to spend large amounts of time searching for your pets. But, by keeping a collar on your dog and cat and leashes in an easy-to-access spot along your evacuation route, you’ll have an easier time bringing them along with you as you exit. If it’s not possible for you to find your pet before you evacuate, leave an outside door open and call your pet’s name. Hopefully, they will hear your voice and make their way out to you.
Reviewing and practicing your family emergency plan atleast twice a year, will help keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of a crisis. The more scenarios you practice, the better prepares you will be when disaster strikes.