DISASTER PLANNING - ARE YOU READY
These are frightening words. They mean you are planning for a disaster to happen; which is what this article is about. So, the first question to ask is, are you ready for any sort of disaster? Do you have a safety plan for you and your family and pets if a life threatening situation occurs?
History tells us that during WWII homes had cellars and many of them were used for protection when a city was being mercilessly bombed. They worked, families had rations and small comforts in situations where days would be spent in the cellar. The preparedness of families in this situation saved many lives. However, back then it wasn’t called disaster planning, it was called protecting yourself from the enemy.
These days the enemy is more like an appropriately named hurricane or tornado. In some unfortunate areas a mountain top expunges a village, a town, or even a city and surrounding areas. It’s a different kind of enemy, but it has to be prepared for in much the same way. Planning for these negative events is important, and just like during the war, it can save livesvery.
As with war disasters, you never know when one is going to strike. It’s a foreboding thought, thinking about people being stuck for days out of reach of rescuers without food or water. In a flood for instance, you could be quite safe on the second floor of your home, but if you have no supplies, no food or proper drinking water, being upstairs and safe doesn’t help if no one can get to you. It is imperative you have a reserve of supplies, especially if you live in a threatened disaster area.
Circumstances for disaster planning should be clearly discussed with family members. If you don’t have a secure place to run to, you should. If possible have access to a vehicle that can get you away. If you own an RV, when it is not in use, keeping it supplied with non perishable and canned food, and ready to keep the family alive for a few days, is a great disaster plan. Making sure of course, it is in a drive away location. If the type of disaster that you might be met with, doesn’t give much option of escape with a vehicle you must be prepared for a possible trek on foot. In any case, you need to be prepared for any type of major disaster.
Included in the disaster planning phase, a card or some form of identification should be completed for each member of the family. The cards should have names of relatives or friends in distant places who can be contacted in case of a dire emergency. Have emergency phone numbers easily accessible to all members of the family such as 911. Children should always carry contact information with them, either in a pack or on a laminated identification card attached somewhere on their clothing. Each family member should have contact information for all other family members.
To prepare a family emergency kit, online you can find complete information on necessary supplies required for a family for at least three days. You can add to this any basic supplies you think you might need and a good first aid kit. Also, sufficient water and emergency food supplies along with a change of warm clothing and plenty of bedding should be included.