Do you have an emergency plan? If you don’t, you need one. This can include your immediate family, extended family or friends. The plan should be simple easy to understand and cover small to large emergencies.
The following steps should be included.
- Make a list of whom the plan will cover.
- Gather information on phone numbers and email addresses. Everyone should have a contact list.
- If possible, have an out of state number to use to leave messages. In a localized disaster with the phones working, it is often easier to call out of state than across town.
- Know how to use text messaging. In a recent fire that destroyed a large number of homes in our community, texts went thorough when phone call did not. I understand that voice and text messages are sent on two different systems.
- Make sure you know the kids phone numbers, they were better at answering than the adults.
- Have a plan on who will pick up your kids from school or elsewhere. You need to give your kids a safe word and they should not leave with anyone who does not have the safe word.
- In case of a fire in your home have a meeting place. I have personally seen an incident in which a father went back into a fire and died trying to rescue a daughter who was standing in their back yard. The meeting place can be as simple as the telephone post down the street.
- In case of a serious long-term emergency, know where you would ride it out. Whether you bug out or bug in have a plan. If you plan on bugging out know several alternate routes to your destination.
- Have alternate meeting places.
- Have your bug out bag ready and everyone in the family should know where they are and what to take with them.
- Keep a full tank of gas in your car. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Your may want to have extra gas on hand.
- Listen to a car or battery-powered radio for emergency information.
- Gather your family and go, if you are instructed to evacuate immediately from say fire or flood.
- If you have time. Secure your home: Unplug electrical equipment, such as radios and televisions, and small appliances, such as toasters and microwaves. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
- Close and lock doors and windows.
This list is just a list of ideas. Every family or group must make a plan that suites their situation. Remember keep it simple and easy to understand. Don’t tell others keep it to yourself. Update the plan periodically.