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Everyone should have an emergency plan that is developed well in advance of any disaster that might hit their area. Some of us live in zones more prone to certain natural disasters such as tornadoes, active volcanoes, hurricaines, floods,tsunami areas, etc. At school we learn what to do if an earthquake or other disaster strikes, but families and individuals should have a plan in place that will help us cope effectively at home with an emergency.
An ideal list would include the following concerns that you have discussed with your children and partner:
- contact person in and out of town.
- health information and where it is stored.
- a designated person who you are comfortable picking up the children if you cannot.
- a designated person to pick up the children if you are unable to.
- location of water valve, fire extinguisher, electrical box, gas valve, floor drain.
- the decisions involving pet safety, what to do with them, and the priority of personal safety before pet safety, which can be a touchy subject for those who love their pets like family.
9-1-1 calls: Teach your family when to call these services and when to call the services in the phone book. 9-1-1 is for reporting fires, reporting crimes, and when saving a life.
During an emergency, follow your emergency plan, take your emergency kit which you should have put together ahead of time, keep a listening ear on the radio and television for alert updates and evacuation orders, stay where you are until all is safe or until evacuation is ordered.
One of the biggest mistakes we make is forgetting about another person being designated to pick up family members. A password for children should be assigned, in order for them to know when it is okay to go with another person. This password should be frequently tested in order to ensure it is still in their minds. They need to know they cannot share this password with anyone. Its hilarious providing scenarios and seeing them handle themselves with a password, but in real life, it is not funny if they are vulnerable to leave with someone they shouldnt. Practice scenarios so they know what to do regardless of what the person tells them.
There is a 72-hour emergency plan that is known worldwide. This is a three day period that people should be amply prepared for with supplies in order to deal with unexpected access issues to services and shelters.
Part of an emergency plan is knowing what to do in specific scenarios. If you are outdoors, stay away from trees, walls, power lines and other buildings. If you are driving, stay away from bridges, buildings, power lines, and stay in the car off the side of the road until the tremors have ceased. In the home, identify heavy furniture to drop under and hide, how to cover your head and torso to protect from flying objects and heavy items falling, windows and outer walls to stay away from.
Radio Stations ” a decent radio should be able to pick up on AM 530 ” 1710 khz, FM 88 ” 108 mhz, Shortwave 3 -12 mhz with antenna.
Television Stations ” VHF channels and Weather Alert channels.