The importance of maintaining home security has likely become hardwired in the minds of families. However, one of the most essential times for security can take place outside of the home. Unforeseen emergencies such as natural disasters, fires or power outages can catch a family unaware, causing panic.
Decide on a meeting place The first step in creating an emergency preparedness plan for your family is to find and agree on a location to meet up with family members should an emergency leave the house inaccessible. Make sure it's somewhere that can be reached by foot, in case the car is compromised or loved ones simply do not have access to one. It can be reasonably close to home, but make sure it's far enough to be clear of danger. You can even consider asking a nearby relative to use their place. This way, there will be a safe enclosed environment waiting.
Set up a protocol for contact Provide your family with a method of contact. Decide which loved ones will call the others to relay information on who is safely accounted for as efficiently as possible. This works well for contained situations where only a few people are affected. Large-scale emergencies can compromise common methods of contact, especially cell phones and sometimes land lines.
If phone calls are not going through on cell phones, try placing a call from or to a landline, if any family members own one. Alternatively, attempt to send a text message. In scenarios where texts will not send due to network congestion, try email or even updating social media status. Remind family members to check every outlet, since many others may not be available.
Know where the fallout shelters are There may be events where large-scale evacuation is necessary. Do some research to find out where the nearest fallout shelter is and choose at least two, in case the first one fills up. This will also provide a quicker way of locating lost family members by limiting the number of shelters the family has agreed to visit.
Be equipped for anything It's a good idea to have an emergency backpack in the house. It should contain essentials such as a first-aid kit, a flashlight and a radio to keep up with developing news. You can even use a full-sized knapsack and pack a day's worth of clothing, toothbrushes and extra chargers for electronics.
Preparing for emergency procedures is essential and can be daunting, but with planning, you and your loved ones can reunite quickly.