A family emergency plan could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
If you don’t have an official emergency response plan in place, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do all members of your family know what to do in the event of a fire or other natural disaster?
- Does your family know where to meet outside the home if evacuation is necessary?
- Do you know how you will communicate with your family if you are separated?
These are just a few of the questions your family emergency plan will answer. It’s time to start planning.
Assess the Risks
While everyone needs to prepare for certain emergencies, such as house fires, where you live will dictate your risk level for other types of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, wildfires, mudslides, tornadoes, hurricanes and more.
It’s smart to form a family emergency plan tailored to the top three most likely disasters that could happen where you live.
Name an Out-of-Town Emergency Contact
First, it’s important to choose an out-of-town emergency contact person who is unlikely to be affected by the same natural disaster. Tell them you are using them for this role. Get their home and cell phone numbers and email address. If a natural disaster affects your region, local telephone lines will likely be tied up, but long-distance calls may go through. Or, email may be the best way to get in touch.
If your family members are separated in a disaster, they should each contact this person as soon as they can to confirm their safety.
Designate Two Meeting Places
You should designate one area close to your home or in your neighborhood for your family to meet in the event of a house fire. If the disaster has affected the entire neighborhood and you are forced to evacuate, make sure you have another local meeting place you can use as a backup option.
Learn How to Shut Off Utilities
Every responsible family member should know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity to the entire home. Practice this task and keep tools near each switch if necessary.
Practice Evacuating Quickly
Each family member should know the procedure for leaving the home quickly. Practice fire drills and make sure each family member knows how to escape their bedroom and avoid smoke inhalation.
Practice your family’s disaster response evacuation plan — grab the emergency kit and drive your evacuation route. Make sure you have a backup route plotted on a map in case roads are blocked off.
Run through these drills at least twice per year to ensure your family’s preparedness.
Assemble an Emergency Kit
Make sure you have a family emergency kit to go along with each disaster scenario. Water, non-perishable food, flashlights and a first-aid kit are just some of the items that should be included.
Interested in learning more about creating a family emergency plan? Trust Shield-Safety for guidance and find the supplies you need at our online store.