First Things First
But where to start? When preparing your emergency plan, the first thing to understand is what type of hazard are you more likely to see in your area. The FEMA, American Red Cross and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Natural Hazard website all provide frequency and risk data about natural disasters. Information about flash floods, earthquakes and tornados across the whole of the U.S. is available for free. So, once you know which emergency you are most likely to encounter, you can begin building an emergency response plan that addresses your most common concerns.
Top 5 Emergency Procedures to Practise Now
1) Escape Plan
An escape plan could be your most crucial emergency procedure to get right. Determining an escape route out of your home will save lives when put to the test. You should include at least two safe places where all family members can meet in an ideal scenario. Such as by the mailbox or street layby. Choose one nearby and another outside your neighborhood, such as a shopfront or mall car park.
2) Emergency Contact Numbers
Always have a complete list at hand in a prominent place.
Program all the critical numbers into each cell phone in the household. Numbers you should include are:
- Local police and fire departments
- Nearest emergency room
- Gas, water, and other utilities
- Family doctor and hospital
- School, daycare, and workplaces
- Neighbors or family members
- Established veterinarian
Make sure a cell phone is always charged and ready in case of an emergency. Teach your children to use the emergency call feature on a cell phone to call 911 if necessary. You’ll be surprised at how quickly even the youngest of kids pick technology use up!
3) Emergency Kit
Pack and fill a waterproof container with enough supplies to last your family for at least three days. Include prescription medications, cash, copies of important documents, pet food, and warm clothing.
4) Fighting Fires
Of course, not all emergencies are natural disasters. Even minor issues can be costly and dangerous. Smoke alarms offer the first line of defence against fires. Install at least one smoke detector or heat sensor alarm on each house level, including near all bedrooms and sleeping areas. It is also worth investing in multipurpose fire-extinguishers for your kitchen, basement, garage and near your furnace and water heater. And something that many homeowners neglect is making sure your house numbers are visible from the outside so that emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
5) Cold Weather Routine
In many areas of the United States, winter storms cause problems from frozen pipes to power outages. Sometimes these incidents can put your life and family at risk. Cold weather can also cause power outages when you least expect them, so prepare for storing flashlights and batteries around the house. Gone are the days when we turn first to candles in an emergency blackout as cell phone torches are perfect for situations of unexpected darkness. However, when the phone battery runs out, you’re left without light and a communication device, so it’s best to have candles or a flashlight standing by.
If you rely on your computer data for business, then lost data can mean your livelihood is at risk. Always protect your data by backing up your computer on a regular and scheduled routine. In the same token, keep extra batteries on hand for your laptop or smart devices, just if you need to stay connected to the outside world.
I hope those strategies get you thinking about a complete emergency plan of action. If you need some more guidance, download this month’s free pdf document and make sure your loved ones are safe in case of any eventuality.
In conclusion, please don’t let the unpleasant thought of an emergency deter you from making a plan to protect your family and yourself and serve others in need. Follow the basic steps above, and you’ll sleep easier knowing you are ready for any eventuality.
All the best,