A Family Disaster Plan
No one like the idea of being in the middle of a disaster of any type, but the fact is that they do happen and you need to have a program in place to protect yourself, your family, and your pets. Here are a few ways to implement a family disaster plan.
Know what kinds of disasters may occur in your area. Local emergency management can be of invaluable service to you in this area. Are the disasters manmade or natural? What has been the damage level as a result of these disasters? Is there a warning system in place?
Learn about disaster plans at your workplace, your child’s school, place of worship, or other places that your family spends a significant amount of time.
Armed with this knowledge, you should implement at family disaster plan, one that is simple enough for all family members to be able to understand and follow. Know and explain the dangers inherent in each type of disaster scenario be it a fire, a flood, whatever, and make sure everyone knows their role and how to execute it.
There should be two meeting places for your family in the event that the home must be evacuated because the last thing you want is to become separated if something big happens. Run through the evacuation of the home and counting heads at the meeting spot. Doing this a couple of times each year means that all family members are up to speed on the emergency plan.
Have someone outside of the disaster area who is the contact person, and make sure everyone knows their name, phone number, email, etc. Know the escape routes or evacuation roads, and have alternate paths available just in case.
If you have pets, then make provision for their well being, with someone assigned to make sure they can get out of the home, as well as a place for them to stay in the event of a long-term evacuation.
Once you have the plan in place, implement it to make sure it works. Modifications may have to be made if you add or lose family members, or if you relocate your residence. Keep food and water well stocked in the home, and make sure all smoke alarms are functioning with fresh batteries every six months.