Protect Your Family with an Emergency Plan
We talk a lot about protecting your home and business against disasters. Today, we want to talk about what happens in the event that you are forced to quickly evacuate your home or business. If there is a regional disaster (flood, tornado, etc.), does your family have an emergency plan to help share information among family members and let everyone know you are okay?
The good news is that creating a family emergency plan is simple. It’s about gathering important information and having it ready in the event of an emergency. Here is the information you should gather when putting together a family emergency plan:
- Designate two family members who live in different areas as “in charge” during an emergency. The designated family members should live far enough apart that at least one of the two designees should be able to easily call other extended family and/or emergency crews (fire, police, etc.), hospitals, insurance, and disaster restoration companies without being affected by the same power outage, flood area, or cell phone coverage area.
- Make sure the two designated family members know the addresses and phone numbers of the rest of the family, from memory. Working with emergency crews or trying to get help to your loved ones is a lot easier if you are able to remember their phone numbers and addresses—you may not be readily available in the event of an emergency.
- Make sure each house and car has a printed copy of phone numbers and emergency information. Sometimes, a child may be at home with a babysitter (or a similar situation may arise). In these moments, key members of the family may be hard to reach when needed. Be sure to add in work phone numbers and addresses.
- Have several meeting spots—one on your street, another in the neighborhood, and one outside of the neighborhood (such as a relative’s home or a church). Share these spots with everyone on the emergency list.
Remember, during an emergency, cell phone bandwidth can easily be overwhelmed. Of course, you’ll want to contact a loved one in the event of a flood, fire, or other damage. The trick is to send a text message whenever you can—they are easier to get through and don’t take away from those who need to make emergency calls.
It’s an ounce of prevention now, but putting together an emergency contact list that contains essential names, addresses, and phone numbers can be very important if the time ever comes.
Henry Duckstein Jr.