Emergency Response Planning

How to Plan for Home Emergencies

An emergency can be defined as a crisis or an urgent unforeseen circumstance that creates a threatening situation that requires immediate action. There are different types of emergencies and they can be either natural or man-made. Examples of natural emergencies include hurricanes, storms, earthquakes and epidemics. Fires, accidents and terrorism are examples of man made disasters. Emergency response planning involves laying down directions and advisory information to help people deal with disasters and their aftermath.

Most countries have emergency response plans at national, state and even county levels and it is important for all citizens to be aware of them. It is however of essence that families carry out their own emergency response planning. This means having a plan of action that lists procedures and responses to emergencies. Many people never get to experience life threatening emergencies. But this is no reason not to be prepared. There is a saying that goes, ‘Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.’

The key elements of emergency response planning

Detailed instructive overview. Each family member needs to be aware of the family emergency plan. Information such as phone numbers to call, a family meeting place away from the home should be known by all family members and regularly updated. In addition all family members need to know where the first aid kit is kept.

Duties and responsibilities. Family members need to share out roles to avoid confusion. For instance one person may be in charge of making calls, another of ensuring all are safe, and still another to bring out the emergency kit.

Precise ways of communicating. In case an emergency occurs when the parents are away, it is important that children know their parent’s full names and phone numbers at the earliest age possible. Papers with these numbers and others such as the doctor or pharmacist should also be placed in strategic places around the house.

Safety first. In the event of an emergency, safety measures for all are paramount, both for those experiencing the emergency and the rescuers. Safety exits should be clearly marked in any home. Keep informed via media such as TV, radio or even the internet for any information and safety precautions to take.

Water availability. Water is life. Thus clean water is indispensable in any situation. At any given time, always ensure you have adequate water for all family members for a minimum of three days.

Having an emergency supply kit. This is more than just a first aid kit. It is essential to have food provisions for at least a few days. This should be non-perishable food including those that can be eaten raw. This is because power for cooking may be affected by the emergency.

The emergency response planning process should be devised in such a way that the plan developed can be easily and effectively carried out. This could lead to increasing the chances of saving lives and property in any emergency.