Nobody wants to think about natural disasters or other emergencies. These are the things that we hope will never affect us. Unfortunately, tragedy often strikes with little to no warning. And even if there is some time to evacuate, you may be unable to just pick up and leave everything. It’s essential for your family’s safety that you plan out an emergency action plan before disaster strikes.
Determine Most Likely Events
The first step in putting together your family action plan is to determine the mostly likely dangers. If you live near a fault line, this will probably be earthquakes. If you live in the Midwest, it will be tornadoes. Fire and flood are both prevalent dangers in most landscapes. Once you have determined the main dangers, you can create specific plans for each scenario.
Consider Any Special Needs of Family Members
Some people will be able to just pick up and leave when a disaster strikes. This probably won’t be the case for everyone in for family, though. People might need special apparatus in order to walk or breathe. Individuals with diabetes or conditions will need their medical supplies in order to maintain their health. You need to include these things in your action plan. If they are left behind, you probably won’t be able to go back.
Evaluate Your Home
Knowing your home like the back of your hand will aid in your formulation of an emergency plan. What are the best places to exit if the doors are blocked? Is it structurally sound? These are important questions that will affect your emergency plan. You will also want to use a homeowners insurance calculator to help prepare for the unexpected. Finding the best plan that protects you from disasters will give you additional peace of mind during evacuation.
Map Out Specifics
It’s not enough to just come up with some broad themes for your emergency plan. You need to map things out in great detail. Obviously, you don’t want to create a plan that falls apart if one variable is out of place. Greater specificity, however, will give your family a better chance of getting out unscathed in the event of a real-life disaster. You should know things such as where you’ll stay if you need to leave home, and how you’ll get there.
Put It in Writing
Don’t trust that you and your family will be able to memorize the oral history of your emergency plan. There will probably be several steps; so don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to remember them all verbatim. It’s a much better idea to put the plan in writing. Additionally, this gives the plan an official distinction. If it’s in writing, everyone will take it more seriously. You can also bring a written copy with you during your evacuation. It’s wise to continually check and recheck that you aren’t forgetting anything. Mental slips aren’t uncommon during times of extreme stress.
Practice at Least Once
They say practice makes perfect. It’s unlikely that your family will want to run through your emergency plan like a militia doing drills. However, it’s not too much to ask everyone to practice at least once. Running through the plan will get everyone more familiar with the specifics. People often lose their cool when doing something unfamiliar in a pressure situation. You don’t want that to happen to anyone when you actually need to get out. Plus, practicing will let you identify any weaknesses in the plan, and adjust accordingly.
There’s nothing glamorous about preparing for a disaster. That doesn’t mean it’s something to be avoided. Keep your family on higher ground by creating an emergency plan before disaster hits.