Start by talking with your family about the potential disasters you could face and why it’s necessary to prepare for them. This could be lots of different scenarios but take look at the most common ones for your demographic area, this could be Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes or Flooding or maybe a combination of all of them. Be sure to involve each member of your family in the planning process, especially your kids. By showing them simple steps that can increase their safety, you can help reduce their anxiety about emergencies and how they will react when the real thing happens. Here are some topics and ideas to discuss and plans to make during your talk.
- Make sure everyone knows where to find your Emergency Disaster Supply Kit and Bug- Out Bags.
- Have a flashlight and a pair of shoes under everyone’s bed in case there is an earthquake during the night or any other disaster that might cause you to need to leave your home quickly. Use a plastic bag or backpack tied to the leg of the bed to keep these items handy and ready to go.
- Plan where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places, one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood in case you are told to evacuate the area. Be sure your gas tank is always at least half full because you won’t be able to fill up before you go.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Try to identify two escape routes in case one is cut off so you can still get to a safe distance. Also prepare a route that you can use to hike out if needed.
- Make sure each member knows who your family’s out-of-state contact is and instruct them to call this person and tell him/her where they are.
- Locate the gas main and other utilities and make sure family members know when and how to turn them off. This is very important especially if you have gas as a primary energy source. Explain to them to watch out for fallen power lines when attempting to escape.
- Practice your evacuation routes, Drop, Cover & Hold and Stop, Drop & Roll drills. Try to make this fun yet it is a very vital part when planning. This will get your kids ready for different emergency scenarios and if or when an actual disaster happens they will feel more comfortable because they’ve done it before.
- Teach each member of your family how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Create emergency response cards for each of your family members.
- Take into account the special needs of children, seniors or people with disabilities, family members that don’t speak English and pets.
This list is not all conclusive but it gives you a great starting point, and let’s face it you have to start somewhere. So take an evening or afternoon with your family and get planning, you’ll be glad you did.
The Survival Guy
- Prepare Your Disaster Preparedness Kit (wtvy.com)
- Be disaster prepared… (gudville.com)
- The Probability Spectrum of Disasters (thesurvivalplaceblog.com)