When wild weather suddenly strikes, families can be caught off guard, leading to all sorts of problems. Don’t wait for disaster to strike and suffer inconvenience or loss. Take proactive steps now to keep your entire family safe and ready in case of an emergency.
Develop writing emergency plan.
Everyone should have a plan that reminds family members what to do in the event of a crisis. The plan should be written with copies available from neighbors, bank safe deposit boxes, etc. But they also have to be stored on the Web for access wherever anyone is located.
The plan should include information about where to meet if the home or community is not accessible. It could be the name of an intermediary, such as a distant relative, family friend, or local business organization, where everyone can get updates. Specific details about funds and resources should also be added. A concrete plan of this type can help offset panic and provide guidance.
Define financial reserve resources.
In the case of local bank closures or widespread economic collapse, families will need to know how to get funds to pay for things like food and temporary lodging if necessary. Store cash can be provided in the home safe that only family members have. Bank safe deposit boxes in other nearby communities may be sufficient to store cash. A trusted friend or family member may be asked to hold extra cash or credit cards for emergencies.
In addition, you may need fast access to stocks, bonds and valuables for immediate liquidation if at all possible. Reliable and secure storage units can be used in addition to lockboxes to store this type of essential items.
Set aside reserves.
Pay attention to household items that may run out too easily during a prolonged crisis. Supply survival food storage containers for preserving dry goods such as cereals, grains and similar goods and canned goods such as fruits, vegetables and meats.
Set aside essential over-the-counter medications for pain relief and other common general treatments, along with supplies like bandages and home health items. Think about what family members might need over the next six months to a year and try to stock up where possible.
Household emergency goods such as candles, light bulbs, and perhaps generators can be very useful.
Get a water purification kit and practice using it so you’ll be prepared if needed. If possible, identify alternative sources of water, such as natural outdoor sources such as springs or lakes, where water can be obtained and filtered for use.
Take personal safety measures.
Have each family member take active shooter training or similar training for personal safety. The ALICE program refers to Standby, lock, inform, counter and evacuate response to immediate site hazards. Many schools and businesses offer this training free. Find out where it’s offered near you so everyone can be prepared in case of a public assault or home invasion.
Update your insurance coverage.
While protecting your family’s safety is the most important thing in a crisis, your belongings will ultimately matter when things start to return to normal. See your insurance agent to review your insurance coverage. Update policies where necessary to ensure everyone and everything is adequately protected. You may want to consider additional protection for acts of terrorism, so discuss this with your agent.
None of us want to believe that a terrible tragedy could befall our homes or communities. But just in case that happens, you want to be prepared to run away or minimize the damage as much as possible. Take action now so you or a loved one is not caught off guard. You may even want to share these tips with neighbors or coworkers.