A family preparedness plan mitigates the effects of disasters and emergencies. Having a preparedness plan can be likened to insuring your family and loved ones, even in your absence and in the face of sudden catastrophes.
Disasters have become increasingly rampant and unpredictable. With greenhouse gases heating up the Earth and the sea level rising, the odds of a tragedy occurring are becoming frightening. This is why you must be prepared at all times.
In the face of disasters, man-made or natural, your chances of survival partially depend on the contingency plans you have set in place long before the onset of the event — especially when you are responsible for others. Family emergency and preparedness planning are a set of rules, routines, and routes pre-planned before emergency strikes to mitigate negative effects on your loved ones.
You may be asking: “What is the importance of a family preparedness plan?” After all, you paid your tax for FEMA and Homeland Security to work effectively in such a situation. Your own efforts are invaluable in protecting your family in the event of an emergency situation.
You Are the First Line of Action
Just as emergency agencies promptly arrive at the venue of a disaster, you must be prepared to leap into action at the first sign of a pending situation. This will increase the likelihood that you and your family will stay alive. While these agencies may have several professionals on their payroll, the victim to rescuer ratio can significantly impact the quality of care they give. This is why you need to stay ahead of everyone else and the disaster.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Panic in Urgent Situations
What happens if you go to the nearest retail store to restock on groceries and the news that a wave is approaching the beach where you are camping with your family for the weekend? What would be your first line of action? Was there an agreed-upon converging point? Should there be an emergency evacuation? If the answers to these questions are a family routine, chances are that you are less likely to panic due to the reduction of the unknown variables.
Now that you better appreciate the importance of having a family preparedness plan, it is time to develop an actual plan.
Develop an Actual Plan
According to the info present on Homeland Security’s Ready blog, the very first step to planning the emergency protocol is educating your household on the different emergency alerts and warnings and identifying the hazards possible in your locale.
Emergencies have varying degrees of effects on people; for some, it numbs their thinking processes due to anxiety and fear. For others, it amplifies their problem-solving capabilities. For these reasons, you must go through the plan with your family repeatedly until you are confident that the routines are at their fingertips.
Some of the questions to answer are:
- Is there a shelter plan?
- What communication channel can everyone access?
- Where can you keep the family emergency preparedness kit so that it is easily accessible?
- Should everyone be dispersed, what is the safest and closest rendezvous point?
- What are your evacuation routes?
You do not have to get the perfect answers to these questions the first time. That is why it is crucial to run the plan by your family to have multiple perspectives.
Discuss Plans With Your Family
Occupation and years of experience handling emergencies are irreplaceable, as are alternative perspectives. Sometimes we may be overly caring and sentimental about our plans. Still, a fresh input of ideas can clear up misconceptions.
Give everyone a photocopy of the preparedness plan. Ensure that every family member understands their roles and knows that trust is integral for the procedure to succeed. If there is distrust within the group, it will hinder the plan’s success.
Do not forget to consider each family member’s skills, ages and needs and adjust your plan accordingly. In addition, you can browse through Ready’s website for tips on how to best plan an evacuation.
Practice and Make Final Preparations
Run a simulation of every emergency imaginable for your location. Ensure that your family adheres to the routines with zero deviations from the plan. Over time, these routines become a habit and become difficult to break even when anxious or pressed. Ensure that vital skills like CPR and first-aid are a common denominator.
Purchase an emergency kit if you haven’t already. If you have one, make sure that the contents are intact and in good working condition. You cannot possibly overstock emergency kits; have one in your car and a couple more in different sections of the house. Watch this video to learn how to build one yourself.
Get Started on Family Preparedness Today!
A split second of inactivity can turn situations from bad to really bad during emergency situations. It gets worse if you are a parent at work and your kids are at school. These situations are why FEMA encourages family preparedness plans. One of the ways to keep your family safe is to keep a fully-stocked emergency kit in your car. If you are wondering which one to get, check out this NAPASA Professional Survival Kit.
Leave a comment if there are any areas you find unclear, and we’ll be sure to reply to you swiftly. Remember, it is crucial to create a family preparedness plan. You are the first line of action and have zero control over where and when a disaster happens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a family emergency preparedness plan important?
Yes, it is. It prepares you and your loved ones for the unexpected.
What is the function of a preparedness plan?
You unconsciously form a habit of thinking on your feet when you repeatedly plan and practice your family preparedness plan.
Why is it important to create an emergency preparedness plan and share it with all members of your household?
Creating and sharing the preparedness plan with your family ensures that everyone is on the same page and in tune with the same routines. It also helps create a mental map and beacon to locate family members in the event of a disaster.
How do you prepare a family preparedness plan?
Create several simulations for possible disasters in your environment, develop an easily accessible communication channel and evacuation route, deliberate on it with your family, and practice.