Does Your Family Have a Safety Plan? If Not, Now is the Time to Make One
In the midst of the world’s coronavirus pandemic, it’s often difficult to imagine a non-virus-related emergency. However, the Earth keeps turning, and as a result, disasters can still happen. If they happen now, however, it’s more important than ever before to make sure your family is well prepared.
This means coming up with a family safety plan. This is a routine everyone knows, which you can all use to handle the unexpected with aplomb. Even if you already have a safety plan, now is a good time to revisit it and see if it needs any upgrades, as well as refresh your family’s memory. Here are a few guidelines from Cris Johnson’s Amazing School Assemblies & Library Shows that you can use to create or evaluate your family’s safety plan and make sure you’re prepared for emergencies.
Check Your Supplies
The first step to emergency readiness is a stocked inventory of supplies. Start by evaluating your first-aid kit. It’s important to ensure it has all the materials you need to administer minor care at home. Your bag should be waterproof and contain plenty of bandages, staple medications, and tools such as tweezers or shears. If you don’t have a first-aid kit, or you’re worried you don’t have all the supplies you need, you can pick up a ready-made kit. Search for one that includes everything on your checklist.
You should also make sure you have two weeks’ worth of emergency food and water on hand at all times. Non-perishable food, such as canned goods, crackers, and nut butters, are usually the best. This gives you a steady supply of nourishment for events ranging from major disasters to simple power outages.
Consider the Possibilities
Your safety plan should include different steps for various possibilities. For example, all families should know what they would do in the event of a fire. You should set a specific meeting point outside of the home where everyone will gather, as well as discuss potential routes and fire escapes in case the main path out of the home is blocked.
Depending on your area, you may want to discuss other possibilities as well. For example, those in wild-fire or hurricane-prone areas should know what they’ll do in the event of an evacuation. If you’re in Tornado Alley, make sure your family knows the sturdiest part of your home. Earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters your area is prone to should always be on your list.
Prepare Your Home
You never know when a natural disaster could strike home, so now is a good time to make preparations in your home. Reinforce windows and doors to keep them from flying off during a storm, and prune or remove trees if they are showing warning signs that could result in damage to the home. Instead of doing these projects yourself, call a professional so that the job is performed safely and efficiently. Go online and search for a certified tree removal service near me. In addition to getting referrals, you also want to avoid hidden costs by getting up-front estimates for the service.
Once your safety plan and home improvements have been made, make sure you practice it as a family. Not only will this get the process cemented in your mind, but it will also identify potential issues. For example, you may not realize that your designated meeting point is difficult to reach until you try. Running through the process gives you the confidence of knowing it’s doable and that your family knows the drill.
You should refresh your family’s memory every couple of months or so. You can even do this while you’re out and about; ask your spouse or child where your designated meeting place is, and make sure they can clearly and easily tell you. This helps lock the information into their mind so that it’s easy to recall in a high-pressure situation.
After you run through your emergency plan practice drills, schedule something fun for the entire family. A nice movie or walk around the park can help let out some of the stress they’re likely to experience while imagining a dangerous scenario. This is a vital step for protecting everyone’s mental health. Remember, at the end of the day, your ultimate goal is not to be frightened, but to be prepared.
Jenna Sherman is a mom of three (two girls and a boy). She hopes to help other parents acquire the skills they need to raise future leaders by providing a collection of valuable, up-to-date, authoritative resources. She created parent-leaders.com as an avenue for parents who want to make sure their children grow up to be strong, independent, successful adults.