When a disaster is imminent, it is important to be prepared and know what to do before, during and after the crisis. The first thing to have is an emergency kit that contains the essential items needed to survive for at least 3 days. Then, families should establish an emergency preparedness plan based on these guidelines:
Family Communication Plan
- Each member of the family should have a way to get in touch with each other in case the family members get separated. Each member of the family should have each other’s contact information, such as phone number and email, on paper or in their phone.
- Designate a friend or relative who lives out of town to be the family emergency contact. In case of a crisis, family members can call or text this person to confirm their safety.
- Ensure that every member in the family knows how to send a text message.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers, such as the police, local hospital and fire department.
Family Disaster Plan
- It helps tremendously to know what type of natural disasters are most likely to occur in the area, such as hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, wildfires or extreme heat. Preparing for each disaster before they occur is critical.
- Choose the safest spot in the house for each type of disaster. For instance, if someone is in the house during a hurricane, they should go to an interior room or a bathroom on the lower level. However, if a fire occurs, they should exit the house immediately.
- Establish a meeting place outside the home in case evacuation is necessary. If it is a sudden emergency (such as a fire), families should decide on a meeting spot right outside the home.
- Planwhere to stay if home evacuation is necessary, such as a hotel or motel, a friend’s house or a shelter. Families should also establish the best route to get to that place.
- Make a fire escape plan that involves establishing two exits in each room, as well as practicing the home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in the home twice a year.
- Make sure everyone knows how to turn off utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main shut-off.
- If here are pets in the house, the emergency kit should also include pet food and other pet items. In addition, families with pets should look for pet-friendly hotels or shelters before deciding where to go in case they need to evacuate.
More tips to prepare children for emergency situations can be found here. People with disabilities face unique challenges in any disaster. Emergency preparedness tips for people with disabilities are available here. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.