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Six Ways to Be Ready For An Emergency

Be it a fire, flood, an earthquake, volcanic eruption, power outage, or any other disaster, emergencies make the news frequently enough that emergency planning is no longer confined to security and facilities specialists. If top management asks what technology, training, or manpower the company should invest in to ensure that it is prepared for an emergency, that question should not be interpreted as an open invitation to go shopping, but rather as an opportunity to discuss the needs for each type of emergency using as much backup data as possible.

Hardly anyone in the United States lives in a place that is completely devoid of natural disasters or emergencies. Home fires, windstorms, and lightning strikes are examples of crises that may occur anywhere. Other natural catastrophes strike more often in specific parts of the nation.

Earthquakes, for example, are more common in the country's center and western regions. Hurricanes wreak havoc on residents in coastal states, while winter storms wreak havoc in the northern states. 

Although you can't plan for the instant you're confronted with an emergency scenario or natural catastrophe, you can prepare yourself and your family to take swift action that will help you and your family recover more smoothly and quickly. It has the potential to save a life.

Write down a plan

Even though it's called unpredictable for a reason, preparing for disasters enhances your chances of surviving by a factor of ten. There are several details to consider, such as who will pick up the children, where everyone will meet, what to do if the phones go out or you don't have transportation, and so on.

Normally, meeting at home is the ideal option, but this isn't always possible. In the event of a natural catastrophe, such as a storm, family members at home may be forced to flee, and you'll need a backup meeting site.

In many crises, communication is difficult, so decide which members of the family to call first if something divides the family. This method streamlines the communication process, which is particularly useful when making phone calls is cumbersome.

Learn and inform your family about all of the safest evacuation routes. Furthermore, find out where the nearest emergency shelters are in your neighborhood ahead of time. This relieves tension later on when you need to locate them and are in the middle of a crisis.

Instruct the entire family how to switch off gas, electricity, and water. Some emergencies necessitate turning them off, and everybody in the household who is old enough should be aware of where all of the shut-off valves are located.

In already stressful situations, planning helps to decrease panic. You will react calmly and in control during calamities if you have a strategy in place. Your entire family will be happier. It's also critical to have a medical alert system for elderly family members.

Put together an emergency supply kit

The first thing one should do when preparing for an emergency is to put together an emergency supply kit, which is a collection of food, water, medicine, and other emergency supplies that should be kept in a secure and accessible position in your house, office, or automobile.

To avoid being caught off guard by a tragedy, make sure your kit is properly packed and up to date at all times. Depending on the expiration dates of food and medical goods, your kit may need to be restocked every year or so.

To get started, go to Ready.gov and get the comprehensive emergency supplies package. There's also a printable version that you can take to the store with you. Don't forget to personalize your package, as each family has different needs, such as pet supplies or geriatric care.

In the event of a lengthy disaster, your pack should include enough basic essentials, such as food and water, to sustain you and your family at least 72 hours.

The following items should be included in your emergency kit:

  1. MREs and adventure meals
  2. Water
  3. First Aid Kit
  4. A knife and a compass
  5. Cell Phones, chargers and batteries
  6. Tactical Flashlights with Extra Batteries
  7. Reusable eating utensils
  8. Tents and sleeping Bags
  9. Blankets
  10. Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes
  11. Clothing
  12. Medications
  13. Pet supplies

Create an emergency fund

Disaster may strike at any moment, and although having emergency supplies and personal documents on hand is important, you'll also want to make sure you're financially prepared for the unexpected.

Create an emergency savings account that may be used in times of need. It's common to have a $2,000 rainy-day fund, think about all of your expenditures, including food, temporary accommodation, and fuel, and make sure you're preparing for the worst-case situation.

Because technology can be unreliable after a natural catastrophe, Ready.gov recommends keeping this savings account in cash in case ATMs or other electronic modes of payment fail. Keep your money in a safe and secure location in your house, preferably near your emergency supplies box.

Keep your financial and personal information in a secure location

You'll need to gather your vital financial and personal information, such as your accounts, insurance, medical documents, and other data, in a secure and accessible spot in your house, just like an emergency supplies kit.

This information is vital to have on hand in the event of an emergency or disaster, if not absolutely necessary, in case you need to submit a homes insurance claim following a natural disaster.

A list of what papers you should have on hand in the event of an emergency may be found on Ready.gov. This information can be kept in a secure safe deposit box, a mobile app on your smartphone, or the cloud. Use all three techniques if you have the capacity, simply in case technology breaks during an emergency.

Be aware of critical information

It's critical to know key facts for the protection of your family and yourself. Learn as much as you can about the types of crises and catastrophes that can affect you and your family, as well as those that affect the entire community. A medical emergency or a fire normally impacts you and your family, whereas a storm, flood, or blizzard affects everyone in your region. Knowing about these tragedies allows you to prepare for them.

Learn how local governments alert the public about catastrophes and how you'll get that information, such as through television, local radio, or NOAA Weather Radio channels or stations. Next, learn how to distinguish between distinct weather notifications such as watches and warnings. Prepare a strategy for how you and your family will respond to various types of alerts.

Make a communication plan for your family

After you've assembled your emergency supply kits and made financial and medical preparations for a natural catastrophe, it's important to devise a communication plan for your family, including relatives and friends.

First, speak with your family to determine particular requirements (e.g., communication, childcare, work, pets or medical conditions). Assign tasks to different family members, ensuring that everyone understands their position and is prepared to act in an emergency. Delegate who in the home should be in charge of turning off utilities such as gas and electricity in the event of a natural disaster.

Then, if an emergency evacuation is required, designate a meeting location for everyone in the home. Make sure you have an out-of-town emergency contact who can coordinate information with other family members or friends.

The most important component of the communications plan is to spend time practicing your strategy with your family or household members. You don't want to go through this for the first time during an emergency. Set up a day to conduct a drill or exercise with your family and go through every phase of your communication strategy until everyone feels secure and at ease. As a refresher, you should do this at least once a year.

One last note

It is not a question of if or not an emergency or disaster will occur, rather, it is a question of when. It is critical that you and your family prepare for the worst-case scenario. Making a plan, learning critical catastrophe facts, and preparing emergency kits boost your chances of getting your family through any incident safely.


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