At the beginning of every school year, my family had a tradition of sitting down together and making a plan for our safety. I felt safe knowing that my parents had a plan in case of an emergency. Now as an adult I still review my own safety plan each August and consider what I am going to do in case of an emergency and wanted to share a few ideas of things you could do to create your own family safety plan.
The first step is identifying potential threats to your family and home. Take some time to consider what natural disasters are a threat in your area, what supplies you will need, and how you will keep your family safe.
Safety.com gives these recommendations when beginning to put together your family safety plan.
- Identify meeting areas - select two safe areas in the home and identify which is your primary area. Try and choose areas that are closest to the ground and do not have windows. Also, choose two outdoor meeting areas that are outside of your home in case of evacuation
- Equipment - make sure you have the necessary equipment in case of an emergency. Also teach your children how to use this equipment. Children should know how to use a fire extinguisher and should understand and recognize the sounds of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Practice your plan - children may get scared in an emergency and freeze. It is important to go through the actual motions of your plan and help your children to be familiar with it.
Ready.gov is another great resource. There you can find a lot of information about how you can be better prepared if a natural disaster strikes your area with resources that include financial preparedness, safety skills, how to help your pets and animals, and much more.
Here are few preparedness tips found on their website:
- Sign up for alerts and warnings
- Make a communication plan in case you and your family are not together when disaster strikes.
- Plan with neighbors
- Make your own home safer
These tips and more can be found on a checklist for creating a family safety plan here. This plan is printable and includes details about how to make a plan, emergency contacts, practical communication tips in the event of a disaster, and more. You are even able to print small copies of your plan to put into your wallet or a child's backpack.
We all hope that disaster won't strike, but it is important to be prepared in case of a disaster. I hope these tips helped you to have an idea of what you and your family can do today to start preparing.
What have you done to help your family prepare? Let us know in the comments below!