Prepare For Emergency
While it isn’t something that any of us want to think will happen, emergencies and natural disasters occur, and we need to be prepared – just in case. If you’ve created a defensible space around your home; braced water heaters; installed safety glass – or safety film – on the windows; secured tall or heavy pieces of furniture to the walls; and know where the shutoff valves are for your utilities, you’ve made a great start; but, if you haven’t created a plan for your family you aren’t quite finished.
What would you do if a fire, earthquake, or other disaster made it necessary for you to leave your home for a safer location? It is important to have a family plan that includes exits from your home (in case of fire); meeting places (both in your neighborhood and outside of your neighborhood); and phone numbers of family members, neighbors, and a key person that all family members can contact in an emergency.
Preparedness experts also recommend having a checklist and/or kit ready to go in an emergency. Some items are similar for most families and include:
- List of phone numbers, including your key contact person.
- Important documents and financial records.
- Medications or special items necessary for members of your family.
- Extra eyeglasses.
- Basic personal hygiene items.
- A change of clothing for each member of the family.
- Cell phone charger.
- Pet leash/crate and pet food.
Beyond that, it becomes a matter of what is irreplaceable to you. Make this a family affair and encourage your kids to make their own lists of what is essential to them. This list will be different for everyone, but may include:
- Family photos.
- Favorite recipes.
- Stuffed animals.
- Special blankets.
- Favorite toys.
- Handheld electronic games.
For more information on how to prepare you family for an emergency, there are a few good sites on the Internet that include apps you can download. To get you started, visit Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, and Totally Unprepared.