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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

National Preparedness Month - Making a Plan

Hurricane Gustav is a good reminder that we need to be prepared in emergencies! September is National Preparedness Month, so we’re going to take some time to get ready for potential emergencies. I’ll do it in short segments so as not to overwhelm you!

Homeland Security has a site dedicated to
National Preparedness Month if you want to make faster progress or get an overview of the steps of preparation. Homeland Security Suggests: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed. I think we’ll start with Making a Plan first.

Create an Emergency Plan

Designate a family or friend to be your contact person(s). It may be better to choose a person outside your local area, as it may be easier to make a long distance call than a local call if your town is experiencing an emergency.

Make sure your children, siblings, parents, and other important people have the phone number(s) of the contact person(s). For example, I have chosen my parents who live in another state to be our contact people. My siblings are our alternative contact people. I have given our children the phone numbers for each one.

Those phone numbers should be placed in a wallet or on a cell phone so they are available at all times. Each person should have a cell phone, pre-paid calling card, or coins for a pay phone (are there such things anymore?) with them at all times, as well.

You may also want to designate a local location to meet should your home be destroyed or unavailable – a local school, church, or friend’s home within walking distance. The police station would be a good check-in spot as well. If your city designates check-in locations, heed those.

Create a plan for various scenarios: you're at work, you're at home, your family members are at work/school/day care/other events. Will you or your spouse pick your children up from school? Will they ride the bus home? Talk through these plans with your family members. Review periodically.

Resource: National Preparedness Month

What have you done to prepare for emergencies?

1 comment:

Nicol said...

For us, we have been putting together our 72 hours kits with warm clothes, important documents, water, food, etc. We have been told that it takes most emergency personel 72 hours to get to you after a large disaster.

Also, I think it is imporant to make sure you have the right kind of insurance on your home. Live in a flood area, make sure you have enough flood insurance, etc.