How your family can practice emergency preparedness?
Photo by Roger Brown
Being prepared can help ease the stress of a crisis when you know exactly what to do, where to go, and how to get there. While the possibility of facing a natural disaster or other emergency is unlikely for most families, it doesn’t hurt to take precautions. Preparing your family for an emergency can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Preparedness is about being as ready as possible at all times. You don’t need to spend hours reading books on survival or complex checklists; follow these simple strategies for keeping your family safe in almost any situation.
Locate the safe areas in your home
Different disasters may happen to your family anytime. It is prudent to identify the safe areas around the home that can act as a haven in disaster times. Secure sites can be pre-identified in different parts of the house, like a basement, attic, closet, or other room away from the outside walls. Safe areas must be easily accessible at all times to be used during emergencies.
Assess the best evacuation routes
Try and find the best evacuation routes from home in an emergency. Search for alternative ways and make sure everyone in the family knows them. Experts say that leaving your home immediately and heading to a safe area can reduce the risk of fatal injuries. It is also essential to know where to go when evacuating, as not all areas in the neighborhood are equally safe. Stay away from downed power lines and also avoid passing through flooded areas. Evacuate only when authorities say it’s okay not to put yourself or others at risk.
Get a disaster supply kit
You can make one in a brightly colored bucket or box. Put it somewhere you will remember, such as your basement or garage. You will need to prepare enough food, water, and supplies for everyone in your family for at least three days. Include items like these:
- Water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Food (non-perishable, easy to prepare and eat)
- First Aid Kit
- Intrinsically safe flashlights – They are efficient and last a long time.
- Portable radio and extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help, or duct tape to seal your home against gas leaks if the air conditioning goes out
- Duct tape and plastic sheeting for emergency repairs and protecting windows and doors from broken glass
- Wrench/pliers/screwdriver/hammer for turning off utilities
- First aid instructions
Get training in CPR and first aid
Being able to administer first aid to your loved ones is a vital skill that can help save lives. Learning basic CPR skills can also be extremely helpful in emergencies. It is advisable to learn how to give first aid. It may save your brother’s, sister’s, or even mother’s life when an emergency happens. If you are not the one to learn CPR and first aid, make sure someone or even two family members already have the skills.
Learn how to use fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are very helpful in preventing fires while still manageable. Learn how and where fire extinguishers should be used and ensure everyone in the family knows how they work. Practice using a fire extinguisher to fight it anytime you are required to.
Show family members where and how to shut off utilities
Family members must know where the water, gas, and electrical switches are found. Familiarize your family members with those spots so that in case of an emergency, anyone can immediately turn off utilities when found necessary. Make sure to turn them back on when the crisis is over.
Make sure everyone is covered by insurance
Insurance policies may differ from one family member to another but having at least one insurance policy that covers all possible risks is always worthwhile. Make sure to talk with your insurance agent about what type of insurance policy would best suit your needs before you decide on what coverage is right for you.
Have accessible post-emergency contacts
Having the telephone numbers of some of the nearest hospitals, fire stations, and police stations where you live is vital. You should also write down these numbers and other emergency contacts in a notebook so that in case of a crisis, you can reach help ably.
Disasters will never announce their arrival, which is why as a family, you have to be prepared at all times. Follow these hacks to prepare your family for disasters and emergencies.