Have You Got a Family Emergency Plan?

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As we head into hurricane season and with a number of tornadoes, floods and high wind events already under our belts, it’s the perfect time to discuss emergency plans with your families. Being prepared and knowing what to do will help to keep your family safe in any emergency. Planning ahead for anything from earthquakes to fires will ensure that your students know exactly what to do, where to go and who to contact for help.

Emergency evacuation plan: Discuss with your children the best ways to evacuate the home should a fire or other emergency occur. Discuss ways in which they can safely exit, no matter where they are in the house. For example; if they are in the basement, they can either exit through the door or out a window.

Pack an emergency bag which contains a first aid kit, a radio, flashlights with extra batteries, water and food for three days, pet food and blankets as well as rain gear. Each family member should know where to locate this emergency bag.

Meet up point: If a storm or other emergency occurs when you are away from home, agree on a familiar place for the family to meet up. Ensure that your children are able to navigate to this area from school and other common destinations.

Emergency numbers: Ensure that all relevant emergency numbers are programmed into cell phones, written in notebooks, are up to date at the school, are posted near the phone and in the possession of all caregivers, teachers and coaches.

Basic skills: Discuss what to do in fires and ensure that all family members know where the fire extinguishers are. Also discuss what to do in floods, accidents, storms and earthquakes. Being prepared will mean your children know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency.

Shelters: Know where the shelters and hospitals in your area are. The last thing you want to be doing in an emergency situation is Googling a hospital. If you have pets, find a pet-friendly hotel in your area as shelters do not take pets.

First aid: It’s a really great idea to do a first aid course and to teach basic coping techniques to your family members. While you should always leave medical issues to a professional, its important to know what to do until help arrives.

Keep all your important documents in an easy-to-reach bag as well as a little money to tide family members over in a difficult situation.

Being prepared won’t mean that emergencies don’t happen, but it will vastly improve your family’s safety.

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