Whether it’s a relatively simple power outage that lasts for days or a huge natural disaster that threatens to destroy your home, you need to be ready for any disaster that may strike. This may sound incredibly dour, but in most cases all it takes is to be prepared for the worst and have a plan ready to go. This plan could include any number of things depending on where you live and what is likely to happen, but these are the essentials for any emergency preparedness plan.
Discussing the Basics with Your Family
According to the American Red Cross, the first step in developing any preparedness plan is to discuss it with your family. You should go over the most likely emergencies in your area as well as the best response for each situation. Each family member should have a role to play when something happens. One member of your family could be responsible for gathering emergency supplies, while others should be in charge of calling for help. The more complicated roles should of course go to the adults in the family, but children should know where they can go and who they can call for help if need be. As always, you and your family should be prepared to work together as a team.
You should also discuss where you and your family should go if you need to evacuate your home. If there is a fire, you might decide to meet in front of your home. If you are facing a disaster that forces you to evacuate your neighborhood, you should designate at least one place you and your family can go until it is safe to return home. This will of course require you to have an emergency contact person that can be contacted if you cannot return to your home—most likely a close friend or a family member.
Creating an Emergency Kit
Being prepared for an emergency means having a survival kit ready to go. This kit should include all the essentials you and your family needs in order to survive for at least a few days, such as non-perishable food, water, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, a flashlight, extra batteries and any medication you or your family may need. You may also need a cell phone with a charger, extra batteries, cash, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and copies of your identification and other important documents.
Being Prepared for the Long Haul
It is very likely that an emergency could cause you to be displaced and left without basic resources for an extended period of time. If that happens, you may need to make use of emergency services such as portable restrooms, freshwater sinks, emergency storage containers and anything else that may be needed to serve large numbers of people for extended periods of time. There are plenty of these services near you, whether you are aware of them or not, so make sure to familiarize yourself with them if you’re ever involved in an evacuation or are displaced.
With any luck, you won’t need any of these supplies or plans, but it’s impossible to plan for everything that can happen. Emergencies are never convenient, so make sure you’re ready for the worst even while you continue to hope for the best.