In the unexpected world we live in; it is crucial to always prepare for the worst possible scenarios. Failing to plan can lead to disastrous consequences that can be expensive to rectify. One way you can keep your family safe is by creating a home emergency plan.
A home emergency plan contains essential steps that you and your family can follow in an emergency that will guarantee your safety. Emergencies that you can prepare for range from natural disasters ranging from floods and earthquakes to preparing for defence against burglars. Some essential steps you can follow to ensure that you and your family are prepared for any emergency that might occur include:
- Consider The Potential Risks That You Might Face
The first step in creating an effective home emergency plan is through understanding what you are planning for. For instance, if the area you live in is prone to floods, then that is what you mostly need to prepare for. Preparing for earthquakes requires you to bolt heavy and tall items to the wall so they do not fall on people in the house. The people in your house will also need to take cover when an earthquake occurs.
Being aware of the natural disasters that you are likely to experience will also help you to take better preventive measures and plan around the special needs that your family has. Doing so requires taking into account the dietary and medical needs of your family members as well as accommodating infants, young children, senior citizens, and members with disabilities who might require special accommodations.
- Have a Supply Kit
Having a supply kit at hand is important and convenient if you need to evacuate quickly as you will have all the items you require in one place. Since you cannot carry too many things when disaster strikes, all the items you require should be able to fit into one or two easy-to-carry bags. Mandatory items to store in any supply kit should be able to sustain you for a long period. Some items you can consider storing:
- Water and non-perishable items that will be enough for each family for at least three days.
- Can opener
- Important medications used by family members
- A first aid kit
- Health/sanitary items including toilet paper and toiletries
- Cellphone chargers and batteries
- Copies of personal documents and contact information of people you can reach in an emergency
- Additional family needs for your family, e.g. baby supplies and health documents
- Extra clothes and blankets
It is crucial to regularly review the items in your supply kit to ensure that you replace any expired items and add any other items that your family will require as your needs will most likely change.
- Formulate an Action Plan
A huge part of having a successful home emergency plan is by ensuring that each member of the family needs to understand what to do in a disaster. For this reason, you can create an action plan that you can follow. Firstly, you can designate two meeting areas within the area, one being closer to your home and the other one being further.
Include a map that will indicate where your supply kit is stored. You should also have your emergency contact numbers written down if there is a power outage or if you experience communication problems. When you have an action plan, you can ensure that none of your family members will get lost, even if you cannot call or message them.
- Prepare Your Home for Emergencies
In an emergency that you are unable to leave your home, such as a burglar entering your home, you would need an area where you can hide safely. An example of such an area is a safe room. You can also choose a hiding area that contains heavy locking doors where the burglar will not detect you easily. Whether or not you are barricaded, you still need a weapon that you can use to defend yourself from the intruder, such as a frying pan or a knife. While you are in your hiding place, you should contact the police to receive help.
- Practice Regularly
To be prepared for any emergency that should occur, then you need to practice your plan. Lack of preparation can lead to feelings of panic, fear and adrenaline; these feelings can lead you to make decisions that can potentially be life-threatening.
In emergencies such as fires, people, especially children, may freeze in the moment, so preparing in advance might reduce or eliminate the chances of this happening. It would be best if you practise your emergency plan regularly and under different conditions.
Though it can be almost impossible to predict when a disaster will strike, you are still able to prepare your family from them. Creating a home emergency plan ensures that you are well prepared for whatever might come your way.
Have a look at the 7 Basic Home Safety Rules Every Child Should Know.