Whether its fire, flood, earthquakes, power outage, or other situations, emergencies, unfortunately, can strike at any time. Although we cannot predict when or where they will happen, what we can do to ensure survival is to prepare and learn how to create an emergency plan.
Your family must know how to respond to any given situation. One tool you can utilize is a home emergency plan. A home emergency plan prepares your family members in case a disaster might happen. It keeps you safe and minimizes panic and confusion. Planning for the unexpected starts with the whole family discussing what to do in a serious emergency.
What is an Emergency Plan?
An emergency plan is a set of instructions or guides that illustrate what you should do during an emergency. An emergency plan must include a detailed procedure from pre-emergency preparations to post-emergency rehabilitation.
To Help You Get Started, Here are Some Tips on How to Create an Emergency Plan:
Determine the Specific Needs in your Household.
Your location and the specific needs of your family members are the main factors to consider when creating an emergency plan. Try to know what natural disasters are mostly to happen in your area. Also, learn how to prepare for emergencies like hurricanes, floods, volcanoes eruptions, or tornadoes.
In addition, manage and make special arrangements for individual family members, such as senior citizens, family members with disabilities, and young children. You should also take into consideration the medical and dietary needs of all members of your household.
Prepare your “Go-Bag”
A go-bag is a great way to have everything you need in one place, especially during evacuation. Ideally, your bag should contain items to help you survive for at least 72 hours.
Here are some items you can include in your go-bag:
- At least three days’ worth of water
- Non-perishable food options
- Extra clothing and footwear
- Sleeping bags or rolled blankets
- First-aid kit supplies
- Emergency supplies (battery-operated radio, a flashlight with extra batteries, duct tape, plastic bags, water purification tablets, local maps and a compass, aluminum foil, matches, and a can opener)
- Basic tools (pliers, a wrench, an ax, and a utility knife)
- Personal care items (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste)
Once a year, check and update what’s in your go-bag. You might need to throw away some expired items and add a few more. Also, make sure that you put your go-bag in a strategic location, which can be accessed easily.
Agree on an Assembly Point
An assembly point is where the members of the household are instructed to meet during an emergency. Since every disaster is different, your safe space will also vary by situation. First, find an assembly point in your home for every situation where you would need to take shelter. Second, find an assembly point outside your home in case of a fire or other sudden emergency. Lastly, determine where you would go if you need to evacuate or could not return home for the time being. Also, plan the route you would take to get there in case the family gets separated along the way.
Make a Communication Plan
Organize a family communication plan. It should include information on how you will receive local emergency updates (radio, TV, text, etc.), as well as how to keep in contact with each other. Make sure that all family members have emergency contacts saved on their mobile phones or written on a contact card. Include the numbers of all family members, the police station, a nearby hospital, and an outside emergency contact.
When you create an emergency plan, don’t forget about your pets! Try to create a list of pet-friendly hotels or animal shelters along your evacuation route. Also, don’t forget to include items for your pet in your go-to bag.
Document Your Plan on Paper and Practice
Always get your emergency plan down on paper with detailed instructions for every situation. How you react to a fire emergency will be very different compared to how you respond to an evacuation, so creating a plan for each one is a must. There are many online resources you can check to help you document your plan.
If possible, practice your plans at least twice a year. Especially for evacuation drills, you should
Check Your Insurance
Before an emergency happens, it is ideal for reviewing your insurance policy to make sure you have adequate coverage for risks in your location. For instance, a standard home policy usually doesn’t cover flood or earthquake coverage. Understand the process on how to file a claim whenever necessary.
While you may not know when precisely an emergency might strike, with a detailed emergency plan, you can rest well knowing that your family is ready for whatever comes your way.
Disasters usually come without warning. It can force you to leave your neighborhood or confine you inside your home. What you can do to cope with any disaster is to prepare your family in advance. Also, work together as a team. Sit down with your family members and discuss how to create an emergency plan. Knowing what to do is your best defense and should be your topmost priority. Get more tips on emergency plans.