An emergency plan is one of the most useful tools you can have in the event anything happens to you, your home, or your family. In this article, we will discuss the most essential parts of creating an emergency plan. An effective plan is put together by discussing with your family. You must answer the following: How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? What is my shelter plan? What is my family/household communication plan? Additionally, you must consider specific needs in your household, such as: the different ages of members within your household, responsibilities for assisting others, dietary needs, and much more.
To start creating an emergency plan, assess what you are preparing for. If it is a a hurricane, have flashlights and a generator. If it is a flood, have life jackets and flares. After you determine what you are preparing for, you should create a list of members to include in the plan. Communication is key, so notify everyone involved and establish a dialogue. Lastly, you must store your essentials in an accessible area: car, bedroom, basement, etc. With these steps in place, you can become better prepared for anything that comes your way.
Stay Informed with your Emergency Plan
To stay informed, you must follow local and federal agencies that are responsible for keeping you informed. Some ways to stay informed include:
Monitoring local and federal agencies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, the Federal Communications Commission, and others are good sources to stay informed of potential events occurring in your area.
Identify critical things in your home
Each house will vary slightly, but there are some basic elements that are important in most cases. Some examples of critical items include:
Food – Make sure you have enough water, food, and medical supplies for your family for at least 72 hours.
Fuel – Make sure you have enough fuel for your generator and car to last for at least a week.
Communication – Make sure you have a way to communicate with your family members in the event that you lose internet and cellular connection.
Light- Make sure you have a flashlight in every room of your house, and if possible, a generator to power lights if the power goes out.
Establish a meeting place
A meeting place is a place to meet with your family in the event that you or a family member are separated. You should decide on a meeting place for each season that would make sense for your area. Some examples include: In the winter, a meeting place should be indoors; during the summer, a meeting place should be outdoors. Make sure that a meeting place is easily accessible and has enough space to accommodate your entire family. Equip meeting places with critical items such as food, water, first aid supplies, and communication devices.
Identify people involved in your emergency plan
After deciding who is involved in your emergency plan, make sure they each have a copy. This will allow each family member to know the plan and the role they will be playing. A good rule of thumb is that each family member should be responsible for two other members. For example, one person should be responsible for assisting two other members of their household.
Prepare to live without essentials for some time
If you’re preparing for an event that will last for some time, you may need to be without certain essentials. For example, if there is a hurricane coming, you want to be prepared to be without electricity for a few days. You may want to consider what you will do without the following things, so you aren’t caught off guard when it happens.
Electricity: If you lose electricity, you will be without lights; you may also be without a refrigerator, so you will need a way to store food (such as ice chests).
Heat/air conditioning: If you lose heat or air conditioning, you may need blankets. Also prepare yourself with a non-electric form of cooking, such as a gas/propane stove or grill.
Prepare what essentials you will need
After you have prepared to live without certain essentials, you should determine what you will need and store those items in an accessible place. Additionally, make sure you have enough medical supplies to last your family for at least three days.
Summary of Emergency Plan
When creating an emergency plan, it is important to make sure that it is thorough and includes important information about your family members. This will ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event that an emergency occurs. Be sure to be thorough to help keep you and your family safe in times of crisis.