Questions to help you get started:
- What natural disasters are most likely to happen in our area?
- Are there any nuclear risks?
- Are any hazardous materials produced, stored or transported in our area?
- Are there any possible targets of terrorism in our area?
- How will we be warned about emergency situations?
When you look at the list above, there are some scary words that, unfortunately, have become a part of our daily lives. So, I’ll say it again - - Being prepared can help your family feel ready for ANY possible emergency situation.
The goal of emergency planning, whether I am doing it for our county or you are doing it for your family, is to help your family stay safe in the event of an emergency.
Each family is different and this means that each emergency plan will be different, too. You may have to consider the special needs of infants and young children or older members of your family or you may have someone with special disabilities. It’s best to involve all family members in your planning which can start with a simple discussion that evaluates the risks where you live.
A plan can help you be ready for emergencies that can include interruption of electricity, water and sewer services. It can help you with possible evacuations that are caused by floods, fires and weather related incidents. And don’t forget, having a plan that has been discussed can help if something comes up while you are on a family vacation and traveling somewhere that you are not used to BUT you have discussed that what’s and where’s and who’s and can easily ‘tailor’ your response to your current situation.
Always take the time to learn emergency plans for workplaces, schools and other places that family members regularly spend time. REMEMBER an incident is never going to wait until all your ‘ducks are in a row’.
“Won’t all this make everyone nervous?” Preparation is not about fear. It is about being ready – and that can be reassuring.
Next week, we’ll talk about how simple your communication plan can be.