No matter where you live, your home is at risk for some kind of natural disaster. Whether you’re on the earthquake-prone west coast or right in the heart of tornado alley, it’s crucial to learn how to prepare your home and family for possible disaster. Disaster preparedness is crucial when it comes to taking care of your family. Here are a few ways to ensure your entire family stays safe in the event of a weather emergency:
- Make a family emergency preparedness plan.
Not only is it important to sit your family down and discuss exactly what to do in the event of an emergency, it never hurts to have a tangible copy to refer to in the moment. Natural disasters are hectic and panic has a way of making you forget what you’re supposed to do, so having a reference is always a good idea. Create an emergency preparedness plan with your family that covers all the potential disasters for your area. Where should your kids take cover in the event of an earthquake? Does your spouse know where the emergency flashlights are? Do you have a designated emergency contact your children can reach out to if you’re unavailable when disaster strikes? Keep hard copies for emergency reference, but make it a constant conversation to refresh everyone’s memories.
- Take special considerations for children.
You’ll want to make sure your kids understand the gravity of a true emergency and the importance of acting quickly and appropriately. If you live in the country, your kids should know that the second they hear tornado sirens while in the backyard playing, they can’t waste a single second in dashing to the basement. If you live in the city, talk about “safety spots” near their school — like a trusted friend or family member’s house — they can go in case getting home amid the chaos simply isn’t possible. Make sure they understand that their safety should never be compromised under any circumstances; not even to save your garden from ferocious hurricane winds.
- Buy a few medical books.
You never know what injuries may occur, so stock up on some emergency medical books — don’t rely on a smartphone’s access to the internet or a tablet having enough charge to pull up the information. A few books on basic first aid, sterilization, and emergency care, as well as any applicable pet emergency care literature should be enough to keep you prepared. This is especially important if you live in a secluded, rural area and rescue crews may take longer to reach you in an emergency. One of the best medical books you can add to your household is “The Survival Medicine Handbook” by Dr Joe Alton and Nurse Amy Alton. Also known as Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy they focus on teaching people how to deal with emergencies in laymen terms so we all get it.
- Prepare your pets.
Ideally, your pet is micro-chipped with up-to-date information, but never underestimate the power of his collar and ID tags; these items can be a major help to getting him back if he runs away or becomes lost in a crisis. Keep in mind that even if you live in a residential suburb where most people know your pet, he could wander farther than you expect and without tags, a rescuer may assume he’s a stray. You should also make sure his leash and carrier are somewhere easily accessible should you need to evacuate the house in a hurry.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Practice safety drills in your home on a regular basis. Switch up the times of day and situations in which you alert your family to a practice emergency, including during meals and smack dab in the middle of game night. Go over what to do in situations away from home so that even if you’re somewhere unfamiliar on vacation, everyone will know what to do should emergency strike.
When it comes to floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and all of their havoc-wreaking cousins, there’s no such thing as “too prepared”!