Written by: Divya SoniDoes your family know what to do during a disaster? Has the recent flooding and wildfires across the country made you wonder, “What if something like this happened where I live”?
Disasters such as earthquakes, storms, floods and wildfires happen quickly and unexpectedly, but you can easily learn how to prepare for natural and man-made emergencies. National Preparedness Month is a great opportunity to call a family meeting and make an emergency plan.
8 steps to get started:
- Know important home, work and cell phone numbers.
- Pick the same person for each family member to contact, possibly someone who’s out of town.
- Select meeting spots in and out of your neighborhood.
- Identify responsibilities for each family member.
- Know the exits and draw a floor plan to find ways out of every room in your house.
- Discuss how to respond to emergencies that are most likely to occur where you live and work.
- Practice evacuating your home twice a year and drive alternate routes.
- Prepare your pets too! Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
Youth preparedness helps children and young adults become better prepared for different disasters. Make a kid-friendly plan and have kids practice what they’ve learned with the Monster Guard app.
Older adults can also benefit from knowing how to text/post messages for emergencies. Since local phone lines might be out of service or overloaded, it may be easier to get through by texting. Make sure your parents and grandparents have a secure digital copy of their insurance information.
All of the tips above are just a start! Check out more tips at RedCross.org/Prepare. Remember, disasters are unpredictable, but the most important thing you can do for your family and friends is to be prepared for them!