An emergency can happen when you least expect it, for this reason, it is essential to take the necessary measures to prepare your home and family to be ready for anything. No matter where you live, there are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure that your family stays safe when situations arise. While preparation may not prevent disasters from occurring, they do help you and your loved ones withstand anything that is thrown your way.
Create an Emergency Plan
Before taking any action, you will want to take the time to create an emergency plan so that you efficiently prepare and act effectively when the time comes. When developing your plan, you will want to consider the following:
- The emergency supplies your family will need
- The medical needs of everyone in the household
- Any special situations, including pets, young children, or the elderly
- The place you will take shelter
- Your evacuation routes
- How you will communicate with loved ones
- How you will receive emergency alerts
- Meeting places in case the household gets separated
It is essential to establish a plan early on. This gives your family time to practice your plan often, and make sure that everyone is up to date and able to gather their supplies.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit will be vital for helping everyone in your household no matter what comes your way. In this kit, you should include a handful of essential items. The amount of each item you will want to include will depend on how long you plan on needing your kit. If you plan on sheltering in place, like for a snowstorm or severe weather, you will want to have more food and water stored. If evacuating is your plan, pack a lighter amount of food and water for a quick exit. Some of the items you will want to add to your kit include:
- Water – 1 gallon per person, per day
- Food – non-perishable items that are easy to prepare and can be made without the need for power.
- First-Aid Kit
- Medication – at least a 7-day supply
- Sanitation and Personal Hygiene Items
- Extra Batteries
- Battery-Powered Radio
- Copies of Personal Documents – passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, pertinent medical information
- Cell Phone and Chargers
- Emergency Contact Information
- Extra Cash
- A Map of the Area
When planning your emergency kit, don’t forget to take your family’s special needs into account. If you have young children or pets, you will want to ensure that you plan for the things that they will need.
Beyond preparation, the most important thing that you can do when it comes to emergencies is to make sure that you are staying informed. When it comes to natural disasters, know what is common in your area. These can range from things that affect the community like hurricanes and earthquakes to those that just affect your family like house fires and medical emergencies. Being aware and informed on these types of events will be essential to making sure you are ready when they happen.
How you stay informed is up to you. Just ensure that you are receiving your information from a reliable source and that you will be able to continue to have access to updates if you were to lose power. Ensure that your family is aware of the terminology that might be used during emergency broadcasts, be prepared to act on your emergency plan, and follow any directions that are given by authorities to keep everyone safe.
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