There are many different natural disasters that can occur in the United States. If something happens, your number one priority should be keeping your family safe. Although you maybe think that something like this is unlikely to happen, it’s recommended you have a plan just in case. This way, you won’t have to worry in the event of an emergency. Instead of waiting for a disaster to strike, here’s what you can do ahead of time to ensure your family stays safe.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, communication networks can be disrupted during a disaster, which is why you should create an emergency communication plan. This will help you and your family members stay together or get in contact with each other if something happens. Talk to your kids about who they can call to pick them up if disaster strikes during school and work hours. Let them know that in case they don’t have a mobile phone they need to listen to a responsible adult like a principal or teacher.
Note that you should also decide who is going to be your out-of-town contact who you could call in case of a disaster. This contact can also help reconnect you with your other family members. When you’re making an emergency communication plan, it’s crucial you identify meeting places in your home, neighborhood, as well as outside of the neighborhood and out of town.
Aside from coming up with a communication plan, you should stay informed. Make sure you pay attention to news and weather reports on a regular basis. This will help you know if there is a possible threat and provide you with enough time to go over the emergency plan with your family one more time. In case disaster strikes only in your neighborhood, it’s important to know who to call. For example, if a fire is spreading through your local area, you should react immediately and call fire watch guards. Make sure you have their number saved in your smartphone contacts.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to stock up on food and other supplies, as you won’t have a chance to visit any stores or supermarkets when something happens. Apart from having a three-day supply of food (pro tip: use Mylar pouches for airtight storage) and water for each family member, you can also make an emergency kit consisting of flashlights, blankets, medications, cell phone chargers, matches, a knife, first aid kit, and cash. It’s also a good idea to have a flashlight on your nightstand. Know that the power will likely be out in the event of a major emergency. Don’t waste the battery on your smartphone on using the flashlight function on your phone. Instead, place the real deal on your nightstand.
Note that your documents can easily get ruined and you’ll need them if you’re going to evacuate your neighborhood or city. Because of this, it’s best you keep them in a plastic bag which you can place in a waterproof and fireproof evacuation box. Nevertheless, you should grab your documents only after you’ve ensured the safety of your family members. In case you have pets, you should keep a three-day supply of food and water for them as well. It’s also recommended you have necessary pet carriers nearby.
If your children are still very young, it’s crucial you test their emergency preparedness and check whether they know their last name, phone number, and home address. This is vital information that they should know at all times. In case you’re kids are a bit older, teach them how to turn off utilities at the main switches, since this is something they’ll have to do in case of a disaster. Despite not being able to prevent disasters from happening, you can prepare for them and ensure you and your family remain safe at all times.