With hurricane season upon us, it is an important reminder that no matter where you live, you should have a disaster plan devised and ready! “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You can.”
Below are some things to consider when planning for your family’s safety and the preparedness of your home:
- Prepare for what you are most likely to face.
If you live in Iowa, you likely don’t need to be ready for a Hurricane. If you live in coastal Florida, you most likely won’t experience a Tornado. When creating your plan, it’s critical to plan for the disasters most likely to happen. There are many resources online to determine what disasters are most likely to happen in your area.
- Prepare some emergency supplies.
Generally, it is a good plan to have one gallon of water per person, per day for all members in your home. If the water goes out, are you ready for that today? If not, it might be an appropriate time to get these supplies and set them aside. On top of this – food rations, first aid and supplies will all be critical if you are stuck in your home. Make sure that you have enough to last for a few days to evacuate. If you plan to stay at home, plan for more than a week of supplies.
- Prepare a communication plan.
When disaster hits, cell phone service can be spotty and people can get separated. To ensure that everyone is in touch, designate a trusted contact in another part of the country. Since out of town calls will likely work better than local cell calls in a time of disaster, everyone can call this contact to check in and get status updates for everyone in your family. Be sure that your children have the number memorized, as well as their personal information and address.
- Learn the best evacuation routes for your area and plan accordingly.
This is critical. Avoid the chaos by learning the evacuation routes away from home. This includes the best roads you will take to get out of town or to a meeting area and how to escape your house if there is water rising – Would you take the door or window? Also, be sure to set a meeting location for your family, perhaps another person’s home or local shelter. Have a plan and review it often with loved ones.
- Prepare for getting caught away from home.
What happens if disaster hits when you are away from home? Having a plan to get to your loved ones will be very important. Keep some supplies in your trunk. Communicate with your children’s school ahead of time to be sure of how they will notify you and what you will need to do to get your kids from school.