If there should be an emergency in your community, it could take some time before emergency workers access the place. This means at the very worst, you should be in a position to take care of your family and those you love for at least 72 hours.
This checklist teaches you how easy it is to be better prepared for any emergency- anytime, anywhere. The guide will help you create your own emergency plan. Use our checklists to create a 72-hour emergency kit. Though basic, these steps will help your emergency management plan and be better prepared.
Also called emergency management, emergency planning refers to the process of systematically preparing for future contingencies, which includes major disasters and incidents. Usually, the plan is in the form of a document shared among key stakeholders, and it specifies responsibilities and tasks to be performed during an emergency.
Emergency planning document specifies the lineaments of action, commend, collaboration and communication during a disaster. In other words, emergency planning is a framework for emergency response. Although it’s in the form of a document, emergency management is a process more than an outcome.
1.Know the risks
Although the effects of various disasters tend to be similar in nature, understanding the risks in your area will help you prepare better. Across the US, we are at risk of various hazards like hurricanes, rainstorms, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, fires, and even blizzards.
Other than natural disasters, there are also other types of risks, for instance, power outages and transportation or industrial accidents. Note down the risks that may be relevant to your community or region. Also, identify the most likely risks so that you plan for them.
2. Make a plan
Every American household needs to have an emergency plan. This plan helps you and your family to know the exact thing to do in times of emergencies. And it won’t take you a lot of time to create it. You only need roughly 20 minutes and you have your plan.
There are chances that your family may not be together in times of an emergency. Have a solid plan on how to contact or meet one another. Also, discuss how you would respond to different situations.
The document should then be kept in the place that is easily accessible, most likely with your emergency kit. Get a copy of this plan and keep it somewhere else but not your home. This could at your workplace or even in your car. If you made the plan online, keep an electronic copy on your computer.
Draw your home’s floor plan showing all possible points of exit from each room. Have the main exit route as well as an alternative route from every room. If you are living in an apartment, plan for using the stairs as opposed to the elevators.
In case you cannot use stairs, make sure that you inform the emergency personnel in advance. In addition, you need to identify an exit or evacuation route from the community should you need to leave urgently.
Identify safe points where all the family members should meet in case you need to evacuate.
Find out from your children’s daycare or school what their emergency policy is. Ask them how to contact families in case of an emergency. Inquire about the kind of authorization the daycare or school requires before they can release your child to another person in case you cannot pick them.
Also, it’s important to ensure that the daycare or school has your latest contact information. Also, make sure you furnish the school or daycare with your caregiver or a designated person’s updated contact information.
Get acquainted with your organization’s emergency evacuation plan and learn what’s expected of you. It’s a good idea to have some basic supplies at your workplace, for instance, some food and water that won’t go bad. You might just need to stay there for some time. Ask your employer about the workplace emergency plans of their organization, including emergency exits, meeting points, fire alarms, and designated floor wardens or safety personnel.
6. Make copies of important documents
Make sure you have copies of important documents like passports, licenses, land deeds, wills, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and insurance. Also, take photos of your family members in case there is a record for the missed persons. Ideally, you should put these in a safety deposit box or even give them to family and friends that live out of town.
7.Plan for pets
In case there is a need for evacuation, do note that pets aren’t allowed in certain public sectors or even hotels. Prepare in advance where you’ll take your pets. It could be to a friend’s home or a relative’s. Also, you can start identifying pet boarding facilities or pet-friendly hotels in your area. Ideally, these should be away from where you are currently staying.
8. Have an emergency kit at the ready
With regards to an emergency kit, you can either make your own or purchase ready-packed kits. These include food, water, blankets, a radio, medications, first aid items, a flashlight, a cell phone charger, a knife, matches, a whistle, some cash as well as personal hygiene supplies. Make sure you have at least a 2-week supply of water and food for every individual in the household.
When a disaster strikes, one of the biggest challenges is also the potential lifesaver: effective communication. You may not think that listening, learning and effective communication is an important survival technique. The truth of the matter is that they are, and ones that many people overlook.
Have a solid communication plan during an emergency. Make sure you have phone contacts of all family members, as well as out-of-town relatives or friends you can call upon. Know in advance who will do what and when, as well as where to assemble.
As calamities strike with vengeance across the globe, it’s important that every family has a discussion about how to go about emergencies. However, the conversation should not start and end there. The difference between staying and suffering a loss is preparing for disasters and recovering from them. When you feel that you are prepared, you will not panic but have peace of mind which is crucial during this time.