It’s easy to panic during an emergency.  Emergencies and disasters can come in different forms.  It can be a gas leak, a fire or a natural disaster which may knock out power, pollute drinking water and make it difficult for first responders to reach you. However, being prepared can reduce the anxiety and help you keep you and your family cool, calm, and safe.  Your family’s emergency plan will be unique to you.  For example, our family emergency plan includes four fur babies.  There are a few general points that will help to best prepare you and your family for success in case an emergency strikes.

First, you’ll need to create a disaster supply kit.  Your supply should include such things like medical supplies, medications, non-perishable foods, water, batteries, blankets and clothing.  Basic necessities include food, water, clothing and shelter.  To separate a basic need vs. a luxury, ask yourself does the item I want to include in the disaster supply kit meet the basic need criteria.

Next, develop an easy to remember plan.  If you can’t remember your emergency plan, it won’t be very effective.  Use places that are very familiar and hard to forget such as a neighbor’s house or a nearby school to report in.  Everyone should know what they’re expected to do during an emergency.

As part of your plan, create an emergency checklist and keep it somewhere easily accessible.  The checklist should include emergency contacts and local emergency phone numbers and addresses.  Place it in an envelope with copies of vital records along with a spare set of car keys.  You can create separate lists for each family member for different type of emergencies.

Let your neighbors know what you’re doing to keep your family safe.  Building a network of people may help you and your family in a time of need.  This, also, allows you to help others in need.  Communication is a key part of preparation.  When people are stressed, they may only retain part of the information you’re sharing.  It’s better to over communicate.

For more information about emergency preparedness essentials.  For more information check out these websites.

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