Why You Need a Family Emergency Plan and How to Make One

Floods, earthquakes, severe weather, and pandemics can quickly create an emergency situation for your family. Without a plan in place, what was once a scary idea can become a dangerous situation. Not only does a plan help keep everyone on the same page, but it can also help alleviate the anxiety caused by uncertainty. Courtesy of Dayton Parent, find out how to make an emergency plan and discover what information and gear you should have ready for any situation.

Have a Family Discussion

A crisis such as COVID-19 can remind us how important it is to have a plan in place for emergencies. While a pandemic is a little different than a flood or tornado, it can still cause the same feelings of uncertainty for your family.

Right now is the perfect time to sit down and have a family meeting about what to do and how to communicate during emergencies. As a parent, you can start by identifying which emergencies you should discuss with your kids. The types of hazards you face will depend on where you live. It’s important to cover any situations that your family may experience.

During your discussion, make sure everyone knows how to quickly and safely escape the house if needed. It’s also important to establish a meeting place so everyone can stay together. Keep in mind that your children’s ages will affect how you approach this conversation. According to the CDC, children cope with disasters differently depending on how old they are, so it’s important to be sensitive to this during your meeting.

Gather Emergency Contact Information

When an emergency strikes, you don’t want to waste time looking for important contact information. As a parent, you should have emergency numbers saved on your phone. If your kids have phones, consider saving some of these numbers for them as well. A contact list should also be printed and displayed somewhere in the home, such as on the refrigerator.

As you’re gathering numbers, it’s a good time to make sure your kids know how and when to dial 911. Calling emergency services might already be intimidating for your child, but in a true emergency, it’s often even scarier to take action.

Stock Some Emergency Meals

You don’t need a bunker full of food to make it through an emergency situation. In fact, stockpiling too much food can make it hard for other people to get the basic supplies they need, and it can lead to spoilage if you can’t make your way through everything before it expires.

With that being said, you should have a reasonable supply of food to feed yourself if you do get stuck inside for several days or even a few weeks at a time. According to Ready.gov, you need at least three days of food for each family member in your emergency stock.

However, it’s important to consider where you live and what disasters you might encounter as a result. For example, if you’re in a rural area, it may take longer for the effects of natural disasters (such as power outages) to be resolved. To compensate for any delays, you may consider building a two-week supply instead.

Nip Any Potential Problems in the Bud

One way to help prepare for a disaster, severe storm, or bad weather is to take a good look at your property. If you have any toys, tools, or items around your yard, make sure you clean them up and store them away. You should also make sure any trees you have don’t pose a potential threat to your home. If you’re concerned that a tree may come down during a storm, consider removing it beforehand. You can search “tree service near me free estimate” on Google to find local well-reviewed pros who can handle this project for you. You should budget between $50 and $1,500 for this service, depending on the size of the tree in question.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit contains everything you need to survive an unexpected situation. While food can be stored in your pantry for easy access, it’s generally a good idea for your emergency kit to be portable. This allows you to leave the house with everything you need.

Your emergency kit or go-bag should include portable food, first aid items, personal documents, money, and basic survival supplies. For example, it’s a good idea to include gear like headlamps that are waterproof and rechargeable. Adding hand sanitizer and other disinfectants is also smart so you can kill germs when hand washing isn’t an option. With a few basic ingredients, you can even make your own hand sanitizer in a pinch.

No one likes to think about emergency situations, which is exactly why your family needs to have a plan. Natural disasters and pandemics can cause a great deal of anxiety, but when you have everything prepared ahead of time, there’s less uncertainty.

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