Family Magazine

Does Your Have a Family Disaster Plan?

By Zen_sheila @BeZensational

All families should maintain an emergency plan:  Directions on what they should do in the event of a fire, emergency, or natural disaster.  Throughout the day, everyone is usually in different places such as work and school.  Does each person know what to do, where to go, or who to contact if something did happen?  What if your cell service or land line is down?

Pick 3 places to meet if you are not all together!

1. Decide on a spot to meet up in case of fire, or local emergency (if you cannot go home)
*A central place: a mall, your church, school, a friends house, etc.
2. Decide on a place to meet that is outside of your neighborhood (if you are evacuated)
3. Decide on a place to travel to that is outside of your area (mass disaster)

Make sure everyone is on the same page:
Children and adults should all have a written list of phone numbers and addresses.  (Your cell phone might not have service or battery power – information is no good if it is stuck in your phone!)

Have 1 or 2 “contact people” outside of your area code.  Sometimes in disasters or emergencies local phone service is down… but long distance calls can go through.  Everyone should contact a specified friend or relative outside the area so that you can all communicate with each other via this person.

Of course “Plan A” would be to have your child wait for you wherever they are at.  Whether your child is in college or in elementary school, it is a great idea to have a “Plan B” in case you are delayed in getting to them.  Can they go home with a trusted parent, relative, or room mates family?  How long should they wait for you to arrive before going to plan B?  They need to know this ahead of time.  This is peace of mind for them as well as you.

Update your child’s contact information at their school or caregivers regarding emergency information.

Where do they go if they cannot go home?  Is there a safe place they can walk to from whatever location they are at?  Do they know their own personal information:  phone number, address, parents contact info, a relatives contact info, and (older kids) social security number?

Teach your child about the 911 system, and about safe people they can go to (policemen, firehouse, hospitals, etc.)  Without scaring the crap out them and giving them nightmares, go over emergency plans with them once or twice a year in an age appropriate way.

Notify extended family of where you are going to be.  It’s also a good idea to have contact information for a neighbor in case you cannot make it home.  They can keep an eye on your house.

If you leave your home:  turn off gas, electric (main breaker), and water (main valve).  Lock your house and close your garage.  Make sure you take all personal documents and PETS with you!!!  If you cannot make it home make sure you call someone to retrieve your pets.

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