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What’s Your Emergency Plan?

To continue with our National Preparedness Month theme…today’s post is on how to make a family emergency plan.  Since disaster can strike at any time and most likely when your family isn’t all together, it is important to have a plan in place now.  Your plan should include things like how to reach each other, how to get back together as a family and what to do in different situations.  Many of the ideas shared in this post come from the ready.gov website.  We hope these guidelines will be helpful to you and your family.

Family Emergeny Plan

1. Identify an out-of town contact.  It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call then to call someone across town.

2.  Make sure every family member has the emergency contact’s phone number and has either a cell phone, pre-paid phone card or coins to be able to call this person in an emergency.

3.  Teach family members how to use text messaging as text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not get through.

4.  Subscribe to alert services.  Many communities now have alert systems that will send instant text messages or emails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.  Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.

Deciding to Stay or Go

The first important decision to make in an emergency is whether to stay where you are or to evacuate.  You should understand and plan for both possibilities.  Watch TV, listen to the radio and check the internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available.  Ready.gov provides some great instructions and guidelines on what to do in an emergency in different locations and what to do whether you are staying put or evacuating.  I hope you take the time to read through these six short, yet very insightful articles:

Staying Put

Evacuating

School and Workplace

Neighborhoods and Apartments

In a High-Rise Building

In a Moving Vehicle

Do your Homework

Find out what kinds of disasters are most likely to occur where you live and how you will be notified.  Inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time like work and school.  If no plan exists, it might be wise to consider volunteering to help create one.

You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.  Don’t forget to prepare your home, office and auto emergency kits so that you’re ready whether you need to stay where you are or whether you evacuate via car. We hope you take the time to create your family emergency plan this September! You know what they say about an ounce of prevention ….

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