In addition to your family disaster supply kit, develop a family preparedness plan. This plan needs to be known to all family members. A basic preparedness plan has four steps: Do your homework Create a family disaster plan, make a checklist and periodically update it, practice and maintain your family preparedness plan.
Note: any emergency plan should include the use and storage of firearms, it is your constitutional right to bear arms, regardless of laws progressed by a tyrannical government.
1. Do your homework
Find out what disasters could happen in your area. Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and American Red Cross chapter to: Learn which disasters are possible where you live and how these disasters might affect your family.
Request information on how to prepare and respond to each potential disaster. children’s school or day-care center, as well as other places where your family spends time. Develop a list of important telephone numbers (doctor, work, school, relatives) and keep it in a prominent place in your home. Ask about animal care. Pets may not be allowed inside
shelters because of health regulations.
2. Create a family preparedness plan
Discuss with your family the need to prepare for disaster. Explain the danger of fire, severe
weather (tornadoes, hurricanes) and floods to children. Develop a plan to share responsibilities and how to work together as a team. Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to occur and how to respond. Establish meeting places inside and outside your home, as well as outside the neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows when and how to contact each other if separated. Decide on the best escape routes from your home. Identify two ways out of each room. Plan how to take care of your pets. Establish a family contact out-of-town (friend or relative). Call this person after the disaster to let them know where you are and if you are okay. Make sure everyone knows the contact’s phone number. Learn what to do if you are advised to evacuate.
3. Make a checklist and periodically update it
Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.). Teach your
children how and when to call 911 or your local EMS number for help. Show each family
member how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main valves or switches. Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher (ABC type) and have a central place to keep it. Check it each year. Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. Conduct a home hazard hunt. Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supply kit. Learn basic first aid. At the very least, each family member should know CPR, how to help someone who is choking and first aid for severe bleeding and shock. The Red Cross offers basic training of this nature. Identify safe places in your home to go for each type of disaster. Check to be sure you have adequate insurance
4. Practice and maintain your family preparedness plan
Test children’s knowledge of the plan every 6 months so they remember what to do. Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills. Replace stored water and food every 6 months. Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries once a year.
And… In conjunction with the preparedness plan, working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. Members of a neighborhood organization, such as a home association or crime watch group, can introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors’ special skills (medical, technical) and consider how to help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.
Preparing Children for Disaster
As you develop your preparedness plan, include children in the planning process. Teach your children how to recognize danger signals. Make sure they know what smoke detectors and other alarms sound like. Make sure they know how and when to call for help. If you live in a 9-1-1 service area, tell your child to call 9-1-1. If not, check your telephone directory for the number. Keep all emergency numbers posted by the phone. People with disabilities may need to take additional steps to prepare for disaster. If you are disabled or know someone who is, the following precautions should be taken. Ask about special assistance that may be available to you in an emergency. Many communities ask people with disabilities to register, usually with the fire department or emergency management office, so needed help can be provided quickly in an emergency. If you currently use a personal care attendant obtained from an agency, check to see if the agency has special provisions for emergencies (e.g. providing services at another location should an evacuation be ordered).
Determine what you will need to do for each type of emergency. For example, most people
head for a basement when there is a tornado warning, but most basements are not wheelchair accessible. Determine in advance what your alternative shelter will be and how you will get there. Learn what to do in case of power outages and personal injuries. Know how to connect or start a back-up power supply for essential medical equipment. If you or someone in your household uses a wheelchair, make more than one exit from your home wheelchair accessible in case the primary exit is blocked. Consider getting a medic alert system that will allow you to call for help if you are immobilized in an emergency. Store back-up equipment, such as a manual wheelchair, at a neighbor’s home,school or your workplace. Avoid possible hazards by fastening shelves to the wall and placing large, heavy objects on the lower shelves or near the wall. Also hang pictures or mirrors away from beds. Bolt large pictures or mirrors to the wall. Secure water heaters by strapping them to a nearby wall.
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