The first step to creating your is to do some research and find out what types of disaster could potentially happen in your area. As a follow up to this try to find out as much detail as you can from local experts, maybe try your local universities geology professor, on how best to prepare yourself and your family for each eventuality. Most communities will have a guide laid out for how to deal with natural disasters such as evacuation routes and warning systems. Find out how these warnings will be passed onto you and where you can safely evacuate the danger area. If you have a member of your family that is elderly or has special needs do not forget to ask if special provisions have been made for them.
Take into account that disaster could strike at any time so take the time to learn about how your workplace or your child’s school will handle such an event. They may even have their own Emergency Preparedness Checklist that you can draw inspiration from. With children it would be especially prudent to make sure they understand what can happen in such a situation and how they should deal with it, whether they are at home or at school. When discussing your plans with your family, be clear on the details, it could save a life. You should cover more than just the topic of natural disasters, what they should do in case of a house fire, for example would be of great benefit for children.
Takes some time to look around your home and find the safe places for different types of disasters. Illustrate these clearly to your family. Simple things like turning on the radio to receive emergency broadcasts, switching off the gas and water and where to cut off the electricity are all things that could easily be overlooked yet if your entire family is aware of the need to do so it is less likely to get missed. A simple trick is to leave emergency numbers next to the phone or even stick them to the wall. Everyone will slowly learn that they are there until they become instinct. Include contacts for friends or family that live in the local area and some from further away. In the case of a localized disaster, a contact that lives next door would be suffering just as much and as such someone who does not live in the local area would be a better idea.
You should already have your family records in a fireproof and watertight container, if not these are readily available from many retailers. Pick two meeting spots for your family, one outside in case of fire and the other away from the home in case it is not possible to return home in a disaster.
Your Emergency Preparedness Checklist will probably not cover all the bases, but by taking the time to learn these things with your family you can greatly reduce the risk of a disaster turning into a tragedy.
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