Making A Disaster Plan
Thinking about potential disasters that could happen to you and the area where you live is not fun to do. But everyone needs to take a little bit of time once a year to talk with their family about what they should do and how they can prepare themselves in an emergency.
Coming up with a disaster plan with your family might seem overwhelming at first but if you break it up into steps, it will become a realistic goal. The first thing you need to determine is what kind of disasters you are susceptible to in the area where you live.
For example, if you live in California, you better have earthquakes on your list of potential disasters. If you live in Kansas, put down tornadoes.
The states that are on the Gulf Coast needs to talk about what they should do in the event of hurricanes. Depending on where you live, there are some disasters that are more prevalent than others.
Things like fires and floods can happen in a lot of different places, so it might be smart to include those on your list no matter where you live. After you have listed each individual disaster, then talk about them and plan it out one at a time.
Ask yourself what you should do if there was an earthquake. You can look up very good tips on how to organize yourselves on your city website.
Each town should have a disaster plan and will be able to direct you as to where you should go and where the safest ground is. They will also have emergency numbers that you can call to get information and help.
They may be able to give you some evacuation maps about your local area and explain to you how the local warning systems work. You may need to do some research on your own about what preparations you need to do in order to survive certain disasters.
Agree upon a meeting spot for your family that everyone knows how to get to in case of an emergency. Figure out a way for all family members to get into contact with each other to make sure each individual is accounted for.
Discuss different disasters scenarios with your family and ask them what they should do in those situations. What happens if only one person knows the plan and what to do?
What if that one person were seriously injured or killed during the disaster? This is why it is important for all family members to understand what to do and be able to follow an agreed upon plan just in case someone did not make it.
Go through your home with your whole family and inspect it for any potential hazards that you might find. Ask your family what you should do to fix it and then do it.
For example, check out all the smoke detectors to make sure they are on and have batteries. You should test them at least once a month to make sure they are working.
Buy some fire extinguishers to put in certain parts of the home including the kitchen, family room next to the fireplace, garage and possibly your backyard. Have everyone practice using them and make sure that everyone knows where to grab one if the need ever arises.
Enroll your family in basic life saving technique course such as CPR and first aid. You can take a class every couple of years to get certified.
Assemble a disaster kit that includes at least a seven day supply of food and water. The longer you can make your kit last, the better.
Remember to include any medications, first aid supplies and anything else you might need in case of an emergency. Show everyone how to turn off gas, electricity and water if the house gets damage in the disaster or if there is a gas leak.
Have a backup plan and post it up where everyone else can read it and become familiar with it. You might want to practice it a couple of times because you never know when you are going to need it.
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