Does your family have a safety plan? In the event of a tornado, fire, earthquake, or other emergency, it is crucial to know how to respond. Rather than taking a reactive approach, being proactive in your planning and preparation can keep you and your family as safe as possible. It also allows you to recover any material losses more quickly, which ultimately helps you get back to normal more easily.
If you do not yet have a safety plan in place, create one by using these expert tips from Kanika Chadda-Gupta.
Develop a plan for every major scenario
Depending on where you live, you may be at risk for a number of natural disasters. Across the country, nearly every state can experience tornados and flooding. Those who live along the Gulf and the East Coast face an annual threat of hurricanes, people on the West Coast routinely deal with wildfires, and a shocking number of states are at-risk for strong earthquakes. On top of natural disasters, fire can strike any home at any time.
With so many potential emergency situations, it is wise to develop a plan for every major scenario that can occur in your local area. Research natural disasters in your state to get a good understanding of your specific risks. From there, work with your family to decide how you will respond if at home, or if you are away from home. Consider having a designated meeting spot, alternate ways to contact one another, and practice taking cover for each type of emergency event.
Take all disabilities into consideration
Not everyone can easily escape or take cover during an emergency situation. If you, your partner, or one of your children has a disability, it is an absolute must to factor this into your safety plan.
In the event that a family member has a cognitive disability, you may need to change how you explain your safety plan. Avoid causing alarm, and emphasize that you will likely never be in one of these situations. Additionally, if someone in your family has a physical disability, make sure that your whole family knows how to help this person to safety. Now is also the time to ensure that all escape routes and shelters are fully accessible.
Make all safety-related repairs and upgrades ASAP
Are you located in a storm-prone region of the country? Whether you face the possibility of strong winds, tornadoes, or hurricanes, don’t wait to make all safety-related repairs and upgrades to your home, as well as get adequate home insurance.
One type of repair that often gets left until the last minute is window repairs. Having a damaged window can make it more likely to break during a storm. If you search “window frame repair near me,” check out reviews and quotes from local companies. Also, ensure that your chosen company is both licensed and insured. Other safety-related repairs and upgrades you can make include securing loose siding, repairing roof tiles, and fixing basements that are prone to flooding.
Create an emergency kit
In the event of a natural disaster, getting access to basic needs and resources can be challenging (and at times, impossible). That’s why it is so important to create an emergency kit with everything your family needs to make it through at least 48 hours. Pack non-perishable foods, water, pet food, first-aid items, a fire extinguisher, portable cell phone chargers, and a radio.
No one likes to think about these kinds of emergencies — let alone prepare for them — but preparation is half the battle. By taking a little time now to go over the basics with your family, you can greatly reduce the stress you’ll feel later, should you or your loved ones find themselves facing a tornado, fire, earthquake, or other emergency.
Guest post by Karen Weeks