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Planning for a Family Emergency: Tips for Creating and Implementing a Plan

Since the attacks on September 11, families all over the United States are now thinking about emergency preparedness. This tragic event in our history shows that you never know when such a disaster will strike. Whether it is a fire, flood, or other unforeseen emergency, now is the time to prepare your family.

Create an Emergency List

One of the first things that you will want to do when you prepare your family for any type of emergency is to sit down and think about what could happen. Then, you will want to make a plan and a list that outlines actions that need to be taken if such an event should occur.

For example, if you think about a fire, then you need to have a plan for escape route. Everyone in your family needs to know what to do in any emergency, so keep the plan handy. On this list, you will also want to make a list of phone numbers that you will need. These will include phone numbers for rescue, poison control, doctors, and family members. Also, don’t forget your furry friends in your family. Have a list of your vet and an all night clinic for your pet.

Create a Disaster Kit

While it is never easy to foresee all disasters, stop for a minute and think about the things you may need in case disaster strikes. Get a good sturdy storage box and fill it with contents that will help you get through a couple of days in case of electrical outages or similar. Must haves include:

● First aid kit

● Basic tools

● Plastic bags

● Candles

● Matches

● Medicines

● Flashlight with spare batteries

● Battery operated radio

● It is also a great idea to have non-perishable foods (and a non-electric can opener), water, and pet food on hand.

Think about Important Documents

Many families forget about their important documents. Where would you be without them, in case you lose everything in a tornado or flood? Get a fire safe box and fill it with important documents including:

● Copies of social security cards

● Copies of driver’s licenses

● Birth certificates

● Bank account information

● Emergency credit card

● Insurance paperwork

● Any other important documents that you will need in case of an emergency

Implement Your Plan

Now that you are prepared for such an emergency, you will want to teach your family how to implement the plan. Show each and every member of your family where to find the disaster kit and emergency numbers. Practice reaching meeting places outside the house and practice the escape routes in your home. Young children should know how to dial 911 as well.

A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to preparing your family for an emergency. Take some time to figure out what might affect your family and get ready before it is too late.

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