Family Disaster Plan

How to Plan for Home Emergencies

Making A Family Disaster Plan

Disasters happen suddenly and without warning. It is therefore important for you and your family to have in place a family disaster plan. Having a family disaster plan will mitigate some of the adverse effects of a disaster. Planning in advance is very useful and will go a long way in determining how badly affected you and your family will be by a disaster, or whether you can cope with the aftermath of the disaster. Disasters include earthquakes, floods, fires, tsunamis and even terror attacks.

A family disaster plan can be defined as a plan specific to your family which details to every member of the family, what course of action to take should a particular disaster occur. This plan helps in having members of a family feel prepared to cope with any disaster situation should it arise, and the feeling of being able to cope lessens the stress associated with disasters. Every member of the family, including children should be involved in the family disaster plan. Everyone should be sensitized on the importance of being prepared for a disaster.

The first step in creating a family disaster plan is knowing your potential risks. There are areas more prone to certain types of disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Information about potential hazards in your home area can be obtained from the Red Cross or from your local disaster management office. These two organizations are also an invaluable source of information and tips on how to best prepare for a disaster and what to do in the event of a disaster.

The next step to your family disaster plan is discussing it with your household. Topics for discussion include the importance of preparing for a disaster, the types of potential disasters and break down responsibilities that will arise in the event of a disaster. At this point, you should assign the duties and responsibilities to the family members. Children should also be involved with small tasks that they can handle. The details of the family disaster plan should be kept as uncomplicated as possible so that they are easy to remember. Struggling to remember the details of a very complicated plan will only increase the stress of a disaster when it occurs.

Important details to include in your family disaster plan include finding the safest point in your house to stay in case of a disaster such as a tornado. You should also locate a place outside your home in case authorities order an evacuation.

You should also stock up an emergency kit with supplies such as food, water, batteries, first aid kit and other essential supplies. In case of an evacuation, you may need a place to stay so it is necessary to make arrangements with a relative or friend who lives out of town to host you in an emergency. This person can also be your family contact, should members of your family get separated.

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