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
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
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
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.