When a disaster strikes, it is essential that you and your family are prepared and know what to do before, during and after the disaster. First, create an emergency kit that should help the entire family to survive for at least 3 days. Then, discuss the following topics with your family to establish a disaster plan:
Family communication plan:
- Plan how to get in touch with each other in case you get separated. Each member of your family should have each other’s contact information, such as phone number and email, on paper or in their phone.
- Designate a friend or relative who lives out of town to be your family emergency contact. In case of a crisis, family members can call or text this person to confirm their safety.
- Ensure that every member in your family knows how to send a text message.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers, such as the police, local hospital and fire department.
Family disaster plan:
- Know what type of natural disasters are most likely to occur in your area, such as hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, wildfires or extreme heat. Learn how to prepare for these specific disasters before they occur.
- Choose the safest spot in your house for each type of disaster. For instance, during a hurricane you should find an interior room or a bathroom on the lower level. However, if a fire occurs, you should exit the house immediately.
- Establish a meeting place outside the home in case you need to evacuate. If it’s a sudden emergency (such as a fire), choose a meeting spot right outside the home. In case you have to evacuate and can’t return home, choose a meeting place outside the neighborhood.
- Plan where to stay if you need to evacuate your home, such as a hotel or motel, a friend’s house or a shelter. Establish the best route to get to that place.
- Make a fire escape plan. Make sure each room has 2 exits. Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home twice a year.
- Make sure everyone knows how to turn off utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main shut-off.
- If you have pets, make sure your emergency kit includes pet food and other pet items. Also, look for pet-friendly hotels or shelters before deciding where to go in case you need to evacuate.
To better prepare children for emergency situations, follow these tips. If there are people with disabilities in your family, check out these emergency preparedness tips. For professional fire, water, and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.