National Preparedness Month: Make a Plan
Making a plan is an important part of National Preparedness Month. Why is a plan necessary? For one, family members are at different places throughout the day: soccer practice, high school, elementary school and the office. If a disaster were to strike right now and cell service was down, how would you connect with your family? Your family needs to be able to find one another quickly and without modern technology. So how do you do this? Simple, the old fashioned way!
Neighborhood Meeting Location
Choose a location within your neighborhood to meet. This could be your house, a park, or a church. Keep in mind that the type of natural disasters common in your area may dictate where you choose as a meeting location. It may make sense to meet outdoors for Californians where as Oklahomans may choose a tornado shelter. Be sure everyone in your family knows where to meet, and the phone number of the location if one is available.
Meeting Location out of the Neighborhood
It's a good idea to have a meeting location outside of your neighborhood in case your family is out when disaster strikes. This takes logistical planning. Be sure to take into account the distances between schools, work locations and home. When possible, choose a location to meet that is central for your family. Another idea, is to have the meeting location at your youngest child's school.
Meeting Location out of Town
In some natural disasters, some towns are hit much worse than others. Think of the devastation a tornado can leave in its wake, but just a town over, nothing is touched. That's why you should have an out of town meeting place as well. This can be at an extended family member's house. Be sure everyone knows the address and telephone number of that family member.
Know Where your Family will be
Use this helpful template from ready.gov to ensure your family has a list of where your family goes on a day-to-day basis. This list includes work locations, school locations and other places your family members frequently visit (i.e. friend's houses, the gym, etc.)
Going over and planning what your family will do in a disaster may not be as fun as movie night, but it's important to be prepared. You should also have a disaster kit readily available and freshly stocked at your home. For help on assembling a kit, visit our previous blog post and download our EMS Safety Disaster Checklist. Be sure to check back next week for our last installment on National Preparedness Month.