Do You Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Family?
There is no better time than now to formulate your family preparedness plan.
Whether you are a five-person family living in a house or a 25-year-old living with a roommate downtown, it is important to assess all potential severe weather threats in your environment and have plans for how you’d handle various scenarios. Take some time to create a family emergency preparedness plan and make sure every member of the household has the opportunity to contribute ideas. Ask questions like:
- Where do we go in case of a tornado/hurricane/fire/flood?
- Do we have any way of hearing emergency alerts and warnings?
- What we do if we were separated without a cell phone?
- Where will me meet after the emergency?
Upon evaluation, discuss action plans for various emergencies like where everyone would meet outside the home if needing to evacuate and who would be designated to grab specific supplies. Create either a binder or an online document that contains emergency phone numbers, addresses, and the steps of your plans.
When it comes to supplies, prepare either multiple kits (per emergency) or at least one basic kit that has the essentials that would be helpful for 72 hours during crisis. Ready.gov has several different lists of items ranging from basic to first aid to kits for more unique needs. The basic kit includes:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- Food, non-perishable food and manual can opener
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers
- Local maps
- Cell phone or two-way radios with chargers, inverter or solar charger
If you can find items that have multiple functions, that can save space in your kit. Put smaller items all into a backpack and then store everything in a water tight container.
Once you’ve evaluated possible emergency scenarios that could affect you and determined how to handle the situations, it is a good idea to practice your plan sporadically. A run through can always help reveal any snags or difficulties that should be worked out before a real emergency takes place. After all, practice makes perfect, or in this case, preparedness.
For more information on creating emergency communication plans and supply kits, visit Ready.gov.