Preparing Your Family
National Preparedness Month
We are all aware that we should plan for what our family will do in the case of an emergency. This task seems overwhelming but you and your family can do it in small steps and it is worth the investment of your time. There is certainly no need to panic. However, with the news coverage of current disasters, talking with your family about what you all would do in the event of an emergency may help put everyone’s minds at ease. This isn’t much different than surviving a house fire, we know that having a working smoke detector and an exit strategy is just as important as a well trained fire department.
Put together an emergency kit, make a plan for what you and your family will do in an emergency and keep informed about what kind of emergencies can happen where you live and work.
A Family Communication Plan
Your family may not be together in an emergency, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations.
- It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
- You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
- Pick two meeting places:
- Right outside your home for sudden emergency, like a fire
- Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
- Everyone must know the address and phone number Think about where you and your family spend most of their time. Have information about those locations written down such as addresses, phone numbers and evacuation locations.
For More Information and Resources: Department of Homeland Security has an easy to use Family Communications Plan that includes convenient wallet cards for family members. The wallet cards are available at www.ready.gov under “make a plan.”
What else does my family need?
Below is a list of key preparedness items. There are basic lists available atready.gov, redcross.org as well as many other websites. Review these lists and decide what is most appropriate for you and your family. The key here is to be able to survive at least three days.
Key Preparedness Items
|Water||Food & can opener
|| Flashlights and batteries
|| First Aid Kit
| Duct Tape*
|| Important Documents
| Garbage Bags*
||Whistle|| Radio and batteries
|| Additional batteries
* Together, garbage bags and duct tape solve any number of little and not so-little problems: they can make clothes, diapers, rain gear, wind or privacy screens, waterproofing and temporary plumbing if you can't flush.