Hurricane (or Other Disaster) – Top Ten Family Plan –
If you live in an area that is subject to any type of natural disaster you should have a family plan ready. It does not matter if it’s a hurricane, fire, flood, tornado, or any other type of disaster; you should be ready ahead of time. Be sure all members of your family are aware of the plan and discuss it often. Always go over the plan and make any necessary changes before the disaster becomes a problem.
The following are the Top Ten to be included in your family plan:
1 – Have open discussions with all members about the type of disaster that could affect them. Talk about the possible hazards they could face; be sure to not scare younger family members with unnecessary details. Tell younger members just what they need to know and be sure to continuously tell them they are safe and secure. Find out ahead of time what your house’s vulnerabilities are such as: flooding, wind resistance, and storm surge. Prepare your house against these as much as possible ahead of time.
2 – Find the safest area or a safe room in your house for every possible disaster. Your house may or may not be able to be used during this time. Find out before the disaster if your house is a safe place to be. If you do not have a safe place available in your house be sure to check for one in your community, with other family members, or with friends.
3 – Find an escape route(s) from your house and decide on a location to meet at later. These routes should be close by if possible, as in tens of miles, not hundreds of miles. Be sure all members of the family are aware ahead of time on the locations and routes to be used. Draw detailed maps, if needed for every family member.
4 – Designate an out of state family member or friend as a central contact person. Be sure all of your family members have the required number to reach this single contact person. Decide on a time to make contact with them after the disaster strikes.
5 – Have a plan ready ahead of time for any pets you have in case an evacuation is needed.
6 – Have all numbers for emergency help by your phone and written on a piece of paper you can take with you. Be sure all members have these numbers and make sure younger member know how to contact 911, if needed.
7 – Verify your insurance coverage far in advance of any disaster. Most homeowners insurance does not include flood damage. Make any adjustment needed to your policy far in advance to ensure proper coverage.
8 – Make sure you have emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit ready before the disaster strikes.
9 – Have a weather radio turned on, tuned to the correct county coded area, and make sure it has a battery backup. Get in the habit of changing the backup batteries in it every six months as with your smoke detectors.
10 – If possible attend a CPR, First Aid, or disaster preparedness course.
The main thing to remember when a disaster strikes is not to panic. If you have all of the above planned ahead of time you will be ready when the time comes. It is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. Get your Family Plan ready now if you haven’t already.