Plan for an emergency. Call it a warning, call it a suggestion, call it whatever you like, everyone should take action on this statement. So much has been written on the need for emergency preparation that it is rather amazing that so few people have really given much thought to the actions that they and their family would take in an actual emergency situation. Perhaps one stumbling block to individuals making plans for an emergency is human nature: we do not want to consider the fact that bad things do happen.
Unfortunately, bad things do happen. Families should discuss, as a family unit, what would happen in case of a real emergency: What roles each individual in the family will have. Basic emergency planning should include fire drills. We all have experienced fire drills in school, and some of us continue to experience fire drills depending on where we work. Adding fire drills at home, discussing how to escape your house, and where to meet after escaping your house, just makes good sense. Any fire fighter can also tell you that having organized fire drills for your home often times means the difference between life and death in a real fire. Fire drills also set the tone for emergency planning. You “drill” in case of a fire. Why not prepare for other emergencies as well?
Let’s also discuss “other” emergencies of a totally different nature. Unfortunately in this day and age, the specter of a real widespread emergency does in fact exist. The emergency may take the form of a natural disaster, hurricanes, tornadoes, or even earthquakes. Regrettably, we must also consider the possibility of human caused emergencies. Yes, we have to consider the possibility of terrorist attacks. It may become necessary for you to actually evacuate more than just your home. There are simple preparations that you can make that at the time will have a major effect on not only your comfort, but in some cases your survival. So how do you prepare for the unthinkable?
First, you should have a survival pack easily accessible. This pack should include a change of clothes for each family member, a good flashlight with batteries, a battery operated radio, and at least a three day supply of food and water. I know this sounds like a lot, however a well packed box can hold all these items, and be easily placed in the trunk of a car, or the back of a truck. In addition, you should have an envelope filled with copies of your most valuable documents, credit cards, and cash. Most experts suggest having at least $200 in cash. Experience has shown that when people have to evacuate and not have proof of their identity, credit card information, banking information, or cash, they had no means of obtaining access to funding if you have to evacuate your town or city. Don’t forget medications either. Rotate the items regularly in your emergency pack, both food items and medications
Chances are also good that at the time of a real emergency all of your family members may not be together at home. You should have a plan in place that everyone understands, outlining places where you will meet in the case of an evacuation. It is a good idea to have a place to meet designated in your hometown, close to your residence, as well as a meeting place in another city nearby. Unfortunately, we face the possibility of a forced evacuation that would take us several miles away from our homes. Thus, by planning ahead, you can arrange for your family to meet at designated locations. Some suggest there should be designated locations in at least two or three different neighboring towns and cities. That way if your first choice for a meeting place is not available, all will know to go to the second choice, or even the third choice. This sounds like an extreme plan; however in times of emergency it would be frightening if you did not know where your family members were or if they were even safe. Well thought out advance planning is the key to making the best out of a bad situation.
Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. Plan ahead.
If the unthinkable happens, you and your loved ones will be very grateful.