Imagine waking up in the middle of the night hearing emergency sirens. In confusion, you get out of bed and peek out the window. You don’t see anything and brush it off as an emergency that’s taking place far away from the comfort of your home. So, you climb back in bed and boom! Your eyes open wide in disbelief as you start to feel your home move from side-to-side vigorously. The kids start to scream in panic, and you jump to your feet rushing to their bedrooms, grabbing them one-by-one. As you try to find a safe place for you and your kids to hide in your home, the residue from the ceiling starts to fall. To make matters worse, the windows begin to crack, and light structures outside of your home have gone out, leaving the neighborhood in complete darkness.
Aside from being woken up from your sleep in a panic, phone towers are down, so it’s nearly impossible to call for assistance. You finally manage to collect your thoughts and realize that this is an earthquake, a big one at that. Perhaps the worst part, however, is that you never thought this day would come, which is exactly why you never took the time to prepare for this natural disaster.
The truth is, we should all prepare for emergencies, especially families. Which is why creating a family emergency kit is essential to a successful emergency preparedness plan. Despite being highly emphasized by multiple organizations, most of us would agree that our homes aren’t equipped enough to survive a disaster; and because of this, people could suffer catastrophic losses and be totally blindsided by an unexpected earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, or man-made disaster.
Preparing for the Worst & Creating a Family Emergency Plan
Sign Yourself Up for Emergency Alerts: Although this would have been difficult task three decades ago, technology has made it a lot easier for us to prepare for disasters. This is due to the fact that technology has helped pave a way for users to communicate with one another easily and globally. Platforms like social media, the news, television, and blog post, are all great ways you can stay up to date before, during, and after a disaster strikes near you. Furthermore, public safety officials will also do their part in keeping you and your family up to date, alerting everyone when it’s safe to return home, and when it’s safe for residents to evacuate. You can typically count on constant news being reported every 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how serious the situation is.
Build a Kit & Know How to Properly Use It: According to Power Scout, the average daily electricity consumption of an American household is approximately 30 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Which means if your family’s left without power after a disaster and you aren’t prepared, trying to find an alternative power source likely won’t happen.
So, you see, being prepared for a disaster means having all the right tools near you just in case of an unexpected emergency. That’s why it’s important to keep your emergency supplies in an easy-to-carry supply kit. One that allows you and your family to use it at home or on the road in case you’re forced to leave the comfort of your living environment. The question, however, is “What all should be in an emergency kit?” and truthfully, it varies depending on the size of the family, special needs, accessibility and/or resources.
Generally speaking, though, a supply kit should have the following:
Make Sure Your Kids Are Well Informed: As parents, teachers, child caregivers, friends, and neighbors, you hope emergencies and disasters never happen, especially around little ones. But trying to shelter children from the world during a disaster could do more harm than good.
When it comes to natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, it’s important to remember that children handle each situation differently. In other words, they’re much more likely to get sick or injured during a disaster like earthquakes. Their bodies are smaller, thinner, and much more fragile, making them more susceptible to bodily harm after a disaster than most adults. That’s why it’s important to communicate to your child, and let them know what’s going in the world around them.
Take Emergency Training Classes (If Possible): Right now there are countless nurses out there in the world who are responding to crisis situations around the world. But what if there isn’t a nurse near you after an unexpected emergency? Well, that’s when your parenting expertise kicks in. Every parent fears the unknown when it comes to their child. That’s why being able to identify and treat certain injuries, symptoms, and markings is vital. Remember, kids don’t like to stay put and enjoy roaming around, even after a disaster hit. They’re essentially fearless, which means that they can come in contact with something deadly and think nothing of it. However, knowing how to treat minor injuries, and how to prepare your child for the world around them can make a difference in their judgment. If possible, consider getting CPR & First Aid certified.
In the end, you should include your neighbors and other relatives in your disaster plans. Let them all know what you’re doing to keep your family safe and show them certain designated meeting locations just in case communication fails and of course, encourage them to design their own plans. No matter what the emergency may be, it’s better to be an overachiever than underprepared.
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything important? What are some other important factors that go into family emergency preparedness? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Davis enjoys exploring the outdoors. If you can’t find him online, you might be able to catch him at the gym or watching sports (Go, Broncos!). Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241. Thanks!
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