The Basics of Emergency Planning

Mon, 08/31/2009 - 10:59am
By: jerm777

Emergency planning is something that no one really wants to think about. However, the reality is that today it is important to make plans that will work in the face of any emergency. The bottom line is that many times we just do not know what is going to happen, so it is always best to have a plan.

First of all, your emergency planning should be geared towards each situation that you are going to be in. Remember that emergencies do not occur at times that are convenient for you and fit into your schedule. Therefore, having several emergency plans is always a good idea.

An emergency plan for your place of work is crucial. Base this around the emergency plan that your employer has set down for you. However, remember that in the face of a real emergency, you need to do what is best for you and for your family. Therefore, keep a small emergency pack in your work place. Be sure to include a change of clothes, good shoes, bottled water, and a flashlight.

If an emergency occurs, you should have a good idea of what the emergency is, and whether it is safest to stay at work or head home. Keep in mind that you might not be able to drive, so know how to get home both driving other routes, and walking if need be. Often, in an emergency, you will need to walk a long distance. Therefore, think about this route ahead of time.

Your emergency plan for traveling should be extensive, but should be such that it can be changed at a moment's notice. A good thing to have is an emergency kit that you can keep in your car. Keep extra clothes, flashlights, food and water, as well as medical supplies and emergency radios in a kit that you can access no matter where you are. This will help you to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

The emergency planning for your home should be the most thought out. Keep an emergency pack near the door if you need to evacuate your home quickly. This should include high protein food, bottled water, first aid kits, a flashlight and an emergency radio, and any special supplies you might need, such as medicines. Also, keep copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and passports, in this kit as well. The goal should be to have a kit that you can grab as you leave the house, and hypothetically the kit can contain everything you need to survive in an emergency situation.

Your plan must include a strategy for your family, as well. It is very rare that everyone you love will be in the same place at once, and emergencies will probably occur when one of more of your family members is gone. Therefore, you need to discuss plans with your family, and make sure that you stick to them. First of all, your plans should include situations where you will remain at home and situations where you will leave. That way, your family can decide whether to come home or to meet you at another location.

For situations where you will be leaving home, have a safe point where your family can all meet together. You should have a number of these, based upon the type of emergency and how large it is. For instance, have a spot near your home to use as a meeting place in the event of an emergency in your home, such as a fire. That way, your family can all converge in the same area, which should be within site of your home.

You should also have a neighborhood gathering point. This can be someone else's home, or even a neighborhood park. If family members return to your home gathering site, and no one is there, they can go to the neighborhood gathering point. Include instructions in your emergency plan about how you will leave notes or information at the neighborhood gathering point, if you are moving on, so that your family can meet you. From that point, it is a good idea to have a community gathering point. This should be a place in the center of town where all of your family members can gather if they need to find you. Also, it should be a place where information can be left for one another, if you need to move on.

Lastly, you should have an overall gathering point for your family, if the emergency is such that you need to leave town. This can be the town where your grandparents live, or some other place that is accessible by highways, but away from where you currently are. This can be a place for your entire extended family to gather in the event of an emergency. It can also be a place where everyone can wait for the family to gather, before you decide what to do next.

Remember that cell phones, land lines, and electricity might not work during an emergency. Therefore, be sure to have an emergency plan that everyone in your family can follow. If everyone understands what to do in an emergency, there will be no question about it, and everyone will be able to survive.

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Hoosier Fan's picture
Submitted by Hoosier Fan on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 12:00pm.

What a concept! I thought that was an oxymoron in today's culture.

Ever since Katrina we've been told that the proper response to an emergency was to sit on our butts, look for the nearest sympathetic TV camera, and whine until the government steps in to solve all our life's challenges.

Emergencies happen everywhere. Floods, fires, blizzards, earthquakes, hurricanes - no section of our nation, or world, is exempt. You can blame global warming, or the government, but the best way to survive an emergency is to get off your butt and be prepared before it happens.

The information above is very helpful. It should be thoughtfully considered and acted upon by anyone who cares for their family - and neighbors.

Thank you!

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