Plans are hard to make in the best of circumstances. I have great intentions to plan a family vacation but it gets complicated and doesn't happen. I've intended to make a family emergency plan for the longest time. It, too, doesn't happen. Why in the world would I take precious time to make a plan for reasons I don’t want to think about and, really, may not even occur?
Because you have to think about them … and they probably will occur.
From big events like floods and earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires and terrorism, to smaller, individualized events like a house fire, your car breaking down, or a power outage - you need to make a plan as to what you and your family are going to do, who you are going to contact, and what you may need in an emergency.
Having a family plan is smart. Your family needs to know:
1. Where to meet so you can all be sure everyone's safe.
Could be the mailbox across the street. But, choose three spots, the first close to home, the second somewhere further away in the neighborhood, the third at some point along an evacuation route. And know your evacuation routes.
2. Who will be your contact person.
Imagine your phone doesn’t work during an emergency evacuation because everyone’s trying to call everyone else in your neighborhood. Aunt Kiki in the next state is a good person to call. She’s out of the immediate area. She knows she’s the emergency contact, and because of the family plan, knows that you all will be calling her - she has just become the information hub for your family.
3. Make sure everyone has contact numbers, essential information.
Do you have your kids’ school’s numbers on hand or are they on speed dial in your dead telephone? Do you have a picture of your child or dog or cat in case? Do you know if your pet is up to date on vaccines? Can you prove it? All good things to have in the plan.
Having a plan isn’t an option - it’s a necessity. Get it done.