Formulating an emergency plan: It isn't always easy to make or pull off, but it's an absolute must in this world. You never know what will hit you and when, making it all the more important to get your entire family involved in disaster preparedness. Ensure that your family is ready for just about anything by walking them through your emergency plan.
Knowing your area's common threats: The foundation of every emergency plan. You need to know what you're preparing against before you can begin strategizing against it. This is especially true if you and your family live in America, the different regions of which have their own unique threats. The West Coast, for instance, is at high risk of earthquakes, while Florida and the south-central United States have a high frequency of tornadoes. Knowledge is power, and it couldn't be any truer for emergency planning.
Stocking up on supplies: Whether natural or caused by humans, disasters can result in essentials such as food and water becoming scarce. This is why you and your family should make it a point to put together a considerable stock of essentials. Your stock has to be comprised of important items such as two gallons of water per person per day, three-days' worth of nutritious nonperishable foods, like canned foods, power bars, and ready-to-eat meals, and cleaning supplies and hygiene products. However, these are just the basics. If you have children, elderly relatives, or pets living with you, then you should take their needs into consideration as well. (Related: Putting together a three-day survival kit: What you’ll need in an emergency.)
Preparing your home: Because you and your family are getting ready for disaster, you should prepare your home as well. Keeping your home set for disaster entails regularly servicing it. Ensure that your trees are trimmed, your windows and doors in good condition, and your yard free of debris. If you can equip your home with a disaster shelter, then all the better. But if that isn't possible for you, then you can at least give your home a fighting chance through repairs and maintenance.
Figuring out shelter: For many disasters, the best course of action is to gather your family in your home's strongest points and wait it out. For others, the only option left is to evacuate. In this event, make sure that you and your family have worked out how you'll leave your home and where you'll go. Your evacuation strategy should account for alternate routes and means of transportation, as well as a communication and reunification procedure if you ever become separated. As with your stock of supplies, family members who require special preparation, namely children, the elderly, or people with disabilities, should be kept in mind.
Practicing and reviewing: Any flaws in your emergency plan will become clear when you put it into practice, and you'll be able to correct them well before an actual disaster hits. Another huge advantage of running drills every so often is that your family members will become acquainted with all of your plan's procedures and finer points. This way, if and when you find yourselves in a crisis, your family will be trained to respond to it in a manner that ensures their safety.
One size doesn't fit all, especially when it comes to emergency planning. Every family is special, with their own special needs and requirements. This is why you need to factor in your family and encourage their involvement when you prepare for the worst.
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