When Disaster Strikes - Do You Have An Emergency Family Plan Henderson County Residents?
When disaster strikes, it can be difficult to think clearly in the midst of the chaos as you do your best to protect our number one priority... family. While you may not be able to predict and plan for every possible scenario, you can help to protect your family by planning ahead and creating an Emergency Family Plan.
Making Your Emergency Family Plan
You can being your Emergency Family Plan by asking your family members to participate. After everyone has gathered, discuss the importance of being safe and prepared should disaster strike. Discuss the possibilities... What are the common natural disasters in your area, what are the unlikely but still possible disasters, what are the possible disasters that aren't caused by nature? With everyone brainstorming this together, you should be able to come up with many scenarios.
With natural disasters like unpredictable storms or tornadoes, you'll most often take shelter in the safety of your home, but with emergencies like house fires, you'll need an immediate evacuation. Your Emergency Family Plan should help to prepare you for both.
Make a list of emergency contacts. Make sure to put that list in a place where its protected from the elements and in a place where your family has access to it. Designate an out-of-town contact as your family's centralized, emergency communications facilitator in case your family is not together when a disaster strikes. Add that person's number to your emergency contacts on each family member’s cell phone. Keep records of important medical, insurance, and identification information. Make sure your kids know how to call 911, and help them memorize important emergency phone numbers in case of evacuation or separation.
Choose your shelter and meeting place. Be sure to pick a place away from the windows and from the exposure to the outside. Generally, the safest options for shelter are basements and closets, as well as safe rooms that are specially designed. Wherever you choose, make sure its easily accessible and stocked with emergency supplies, ready to use at all times. Should you need to evacuate, identify at least two exits and make sure there's no obstacles getting in the way of there path. Designate a neighbor's front yard or another safe outdoor location nearby as the family meeting place.
Time to put together an emergency kit. It may be different depending on what type of disasters you are likely to encounter but this is a good starter list for your kit. When putting this together, plan to have enough supplies for you and family to survive for at least 3 days.
~ Large plastic tub or tubs, clearly marked - Emergency Kit.
~ Bottled water (one gallon per person, per day)
~ Non-perishable food
~ Flashlights and batteries
~ First aid kit
~ Hygiene items
~ Whistle to signal help
~ Dust mask
~ Manual can opener
~ Wrench or pliers
~ Fire extinguisher
~ Copies of important documents
~ Backup power bank - Portable charger
~ Extra clothing
~ Garbage bags
~ Duct tape
~ Local maps
Review your Emergency Family Plan and safety procedures together regularly. Practice some hypothetical situations and see how long it takes everyone to reach there designated shelter or meeting place. You could practice home fire drills as well, practicing crawling on the ground to avoid smoke or blocking off certain areas of your house so that alternate escape routes are thought out. The more scenarios that are practiced, the better prepared you and your family will be, if or when a disaster strikes.
SERVPRO of Henderson County is always here to help. 828-692-3337