Disaster can strike at any moment, putting you and your family in peril, as First General Services can attest. Regardless of the time of year, it’s important to have well-developed emergency plans in place, and to conduct regular reviews of your plans so you can rest assured that you’re prepared in case of an unplanned event.
Have a Fire Plan
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), more than 350,000 homes are destroyed annually by fire, and more than 2,500 associated deaths. Your home needs to be equipped with home safety devices, like smoke alarms, that are frequently tested. All members of your family should know and practice escape routes in case of a fire. The NFPA website includes downloadable fire safety tips and checklists for all ages.
Be Prepared for the Weather
In any season, unpredictable and sudden weather events can wreak havoc on entire communities. Your emergency plan should include storage of potable water, enough non-perishable food supplies for your family for at least three days, a backup supply of batteries, medication and at least some cash. You should be aware of the types of weather catastrophes that are most likely to occur where you live and plan accordingly.
Understand Medical Needs
Severe medical conditions can mean that a family is on high alert. All members of the family should know what to do if a loved one suddenly suffers a seizure, heart attack, stroke, fall or another life-threatening event. Complete CPR training, and keep physician emergency numbers in a prominent place in your home. If a member of the family requires an Epi Pen or other medication that could save their life, make sure everyone is well trained and knows what to do if a health-related emergency should arise.
Develop Contact Network
It’s not uncommon for family members to become separated during a wide-scale evacuation during or following a crisis event. Create a plan for contacting one another if you do become separated. Ask a trusted relative of friend who doesn’t live in the area to serve as a point of contact for all family members to check in with so they can relay information about everyone’s location and status, particularly since cell towers may become overloaded.
You can check ready.gov for other great tips on developing emergency plans for all sorts of scenarios. Being prepared, and practicing your plans frequently, can mean the difference between life and death.