There are many steps that can be taken to prevent harm to your family when a disaster strikes. The primary key to ensuring the safety of your family is to plan ahead. While every disaster is different the steps that need to be taken for safety purposes are very similar. A simple cycle will help prepare you and your family for what needs to be done. This cycle includes four easy step, planning, testing, practice, and maintenance.
The first portion of this critical cycle is of the utmost important. It is planning an evacuation or reaction plan appropriate for the natural disaster. If a fire was to take place in your home an evacuation plan would be more suitable while if a hurricane was approaching a safety plan directed at the in home safety would prove to be more valuable. For this reason, it is advised that an evacuation plan and severe weather plan be created. A few things to remember when creating your emergency plan is to designate a single location for all the family to seek out when an emergency arises. This will make is easy to account for all family members and help save valuable time in trying to move the family to a safer location. Secondly, this plan needs to be discussed on a regular basis with the whole family to make sure everyone understand the plan and also knows the importance of following the plan and not deviating from it. Finally, a good way to help refresh younger members of the familys memory is by posting your emergency plans on the refrigerator and in their bedrooms. That way there in a stressful situation when it is time to implement these plans they can easily be located and followed.
Before the final plan is put into place, it is important to test the plan and make sure that it is effective and can be accomplished by all family members. This is especially important when smaller children or elderly are within the home. The designed emergency plan should be tested under various pretend emergencies to make sure it is suitable for all major emergencies or to let you know that the plans need to be revised under certain circumstances.
Now that the plan has been designed, tested, and ready to be used in case of emergency, it is time to remind all the members of the family of what needs to be done. We never want an emergency to occur, but when it does it is time to get down to business. To make sure there is no delay in family response, a monthly test should be run. This way all the procedures stay fresh in everyone’s mind. So when that emergency does occur there is no doubt that everyone knows exactly what they need to be doing.
Finally, the last part of the cycle is maintenance. The portion is just as important as the first. The reason being for maintaining your emergency plans is that sometimes house layouts change, family members switch rooms, or they simply become ineffective. This is also a good time to check those first aid kits and emergency supplies such as bottled water, canned goods, and conditions of the home. An emergency plan should be evaluated annually to make sure you and your family are doing all that they can to stay safe in a state of emergency.
This cycle will help keep you and your family safe.
Just remember those four easy steps: planning, testing, practicing, and maintenance. Following those rules will make sure your plans are not haphazard and will keep your family safe.