As hurricane season swings into full gear, it’s important to establish an emergency preparedness plan that you and your children can follow in the event of a crisis. No one likes to think about these things, but after Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Houston, it became more crucial than ever to have a plan.
What’s an Emergency Preparedness Plan?
An emergency preparedness plan should include food and clothing, medication, necessary supplies, and essential paperwork. Supplies should also be arranged in a way that’s easily accessible. Your family's emergency plan will be unique to you, taking into account your schedules and home location. Click To Tweet However, it should always address a few basic points:
Keep It Simple
Developing a simple, easy-to-remember plan is very important. An emergency plan won’t be effective if no one can remember it. This is especially true for families with children to consider. Keep your plan as simple as possible, using places that are familiar and hard to forget. For example, in the event of a fire in the home, arrange to meet somewhere close by, like a next door neighbor’s house.
Make a Checklist
Keep an emergency checklist somewhere easily accessible and visible. This checklist should include emergency contacts, local emergency phone numbers and addresses, and a very short list of important items to be removed from the home quickly. This might be the location of a folder with copies of vital documents, and a backpack of supplies.
Be Prepared to Stay
Unlike a house fire, many disasters require you to stay in your home for an extended period of time. During such an event, you may not have power, drinking water, or access to first responders. An emergency food storage of canned and nonperishable items, as well as bottled drinking water is essential, especially for families living in areas with an increased likelihood of hurricanes or flooding, such as Houston and surrounding areas.
Quick Tips For Hurricanes & Flooding
- If you’re told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- If trapped in your home due to flooding, go to the highest floor. Do not climb into a closed attic.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
- Turn on your TV or radio, and check your local websites every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Practice Makes Perfect
Your children may panic in the event of an emergency, so it’s important to plan with them, and practice that plan once it’s established. This will make them feel more control over the situation, and not so lost when and if the time comes to act.