May 28, 2021
You never know when disaster can strike. Inclement weather, natural disasters, and many other emergency situations may require the need to rapidly react to unexpected circumstances. The more prepared each person in your family is for when the unthinkable happens, the more likely it is for everyone to emerge from a disaster safely.
Disaster preparedness comes down to one thing: a plan. Here are five critical reasons why your family should start working on one now.
Disasters are anxiety-inducing. No one likes to think about being in danger, but preparing in advance can make a disaster easier to deal with when the time comes. While there are many emergencies you can’t foresee happening, there are some emergency situations where you have ample lead time to prepare, such as a hurricane. If you know that you have the right insurances, that key documents and medications are secure, and that your family has a plan to stay safe, facing an oncoming storm feels much more manageable.
Because disasters are unpredictable, you may not have a lot of time between when you learn of an incident and it occurs. Feeling rushed and hurried in a crucial moment not only leaves you stressed, it can result in sub-optimal decisions. When faced with a difficult circumstance and short timetable within which to react, it’s important to already have a plan in place — especially in terms of how to get to safety.
Work. School. Travel. Errands. There are a lot of reasons your family is separated throughout the day. An important part of any disaster plan is determining where your family will meet and how you will communicate — particularly in the event that the disaster impacts mobile phone service. If your family has a plan that everyone is aware of, you can be confident that everyone will know how to react. Be sure to incorporate emergency plans from your workplace and your children's schools into your own.
Floods, hurricanes, or wildfires may result in your family needing to evacuate your home with short notice. Planning ahead ensures you know the best evacuation routes and are prepared with what you need to bring, including food, water, clothing, medication, and important documents.
During and right after a disaster, food, water, electricity, and other essential supplies may be difficult to come by. A disaster supply kit, shelf-stable foods, and knowledge of how to treat water are important parts of a disaster plan, ensuring your family has the essentials needed to remain safe in a disaster situation.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly: when a disaster strikes, it’s too late to begin planning. Effective disaster plans require lead time to acquire the right supplies, learn skills such as CPR, and assemble important information. If it’s clear a disaster is on the horizon, it will already be too late to react in many of these areas, so begin building a plan now!
Your family may never need to use it, but practicing the plan a few times a year and ensuring it’s ready and up-to-date can provide everyone with the peace of mind that if the unimaginable happens, you’re ready to face it together.