Fire, flood, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes; would you and your family know what to do if a catastrophe hit your home? Unfortunately, natural disasters like this happen almost every day across the U.S. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, in the past 10 years across the U.S. there has been an average of nearly 600 weather related fatalities every year. In addition, according to the International Disaster Database this number is only expected to rise over the next 10 years. These statistics are the driving force behind our website. At the Emergency Binder, we feel that it is essential for you and your family to be prepared with a family disaster plan for a variety of emergencies.
What Should Be in Your Family’s Disaster Plan?
First and most importantly, you should have a family communication plan in place. This is planning for the fact that when and if a disaster hits, your family may be displaced. You will want to establish a strategy for everyone to have a central meeting place outside the home. In addition, especially if you have younger children, you are going to want to make a quick and easy emergency contact card. This is an great resource in the event that you and your children are separated, or you are injured and unable to communicate. You or your family members will be able to quickly give a doctor, police officer, or other authority figure the information they need. Below is an example of a template you may want to use for an emergency contact card. We advise laminating this card if possible to avoid any wear, tear, or damages.
Besides a meeting place and an identification card there are a few other items you are going to want to discuss in regards to your family disaster plan. We have two additional tips for your family’s safety plan as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Subscribe to Emergency Alerts: You may feel like you are already bombarded with too many alerts. However, one of the most important things you may ever subscribe to is the National Emergency Alert system. This is a national alert system that you can opt-in to messages regarding national security emergencies, Amber alerts, and extreme weather warnings. If you would be interested in signing up for the National Emergency Alert System, click here. For more information on your local state offices emergency management agency, click here, find your state, and contact them for more information.
- Appoint an Out-of-State Contact: Here at the Emergency Binder, we support the advice given by the CDC on appointing a friend or family member outside of your local area to be an additional point of contact. Since this individual would be out of state, they most likely would not be experiencing the same weather emergencies and would have communication access in case local phone lines are jammed. If you are going to choose a non-local point of contact, be sure that they are on board and understand their role and responsibility prior to a weather or other type of emergency.
Second, we advise that every homeowner have an emergency preparedness kit that will be enough to sustain themselves and the rest of their immediate family members for up to 3 days. Learn more about what you need to include in your family’s emergency preparedness/survival kit.