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Are you ready for an emergency? Whether it’s a natural disaster or otherwise, it is important to make sure that your family’s basic needs are met and everyone is safe. To do this effectively, you need to have a plan in place. 

Being mentally and physically prepared may help minimize feelings of panic and enable you to keep your family calm and safe. An emergency preparedness plan should include a disaster supply kit, as well as any emergency essentials. Emergency preparedness supplies should also be arranged and easily accessible. While your family’s emergency plan will be unique to you, there are a few general points that will help to best prepare you for success.

  1. Develop an easy-to-remember plan. Keep your emergency plan simple and use places that are very familiar and hard to forget. Include a safe meeting space for different situations (ex. house fire: meet close by, like a neighbor’s house. Large scale emergency: Choose a familiar building, like a nearby school).
  2. Make sure everyone knows what they’re expected to do. For example, mom may be responsible for getting the children and moving to safety and dad may be responsible for grabbing the emergency preparedness kit.
  3. Print out an emergency checklist and keep it someplace easily accessible. It may also be helpful to create separate lists for either members of your family or different types of emergencies. Checklists should include:
    • emergency contacts
    • local emergency phone numbers and addresses
    • a short list of important items to be removed from the house (i.e. a folder with vital documents)
    • spare car/house keys kept with the list
  4. Prepare for extended periods of emergency. Natural disasters may knock out power, pollute drinking water, and make it difficult for first responders to reach you. Be prepared with a supply of canned and nonperishable items, as well as bottled drinking water.
  5. Involve your neighbors in your plans. Let your neighbors know what you’re doing and encourage them to take precautions of their own. Building a proactive network of people that may be of assistance may help you and allow you to help others in need. Communication is a vital part of being prepared.

Nobody expects an emergency situation to arise, but being prepared will assure that you and your family are safe if it does!