Many parts of the country suffer from all manner of potentially deadly natural disasters. While emergency services always do their best to help those in need, it’s up to you to be prepared. Yes, it’s not easy to plan for, but it’s essential to safeguard your family.
Have a Plan in Place
Making a disaster plan is a process, but that can still be daunting. There’s a lot to consider, yet, thankfully, federal emergency guidelines are a good starting point. These can help you create a checklist, from identifying escape routes to making emergency kits. Once that’s done, review it with your family so that everyone understands what steps must be taken. In particular, discuss where to take shelter, how to evacuate, and what to do if anyone is separated. Have these conversations until you’re confident everyone will remember the plan, including the kids.
Talk It Out
Thinking about a natural disaster is scary for anyone, but a child’s imagination could easily run wild and make prepping much more intimidating. Yet, little ones can also be eager, and if you involve them and explain things, they may better appreciate what must be done. In fact, they might have questions of their own, which can help your own planning. So, don’t dismiss their viewpoints, as listening to their concerns will reassure them that their opinions matter. Likewise, it’s important that they listen as well, so look out for indicators that they’re unsure about something. Talking is a solid first step in involving them in the process.
Staying connected is essential, as you want to know about emergency responses and what citizens are being asked to do. For instance, thanks to tech like smartphones, you can use social media to stay updated and reassure loved ones. Even without cell service, you can use tools to stay on track with your plan. Better yet, gadgets can be another way to involve the kids. After all, children love playing with tech, and devices can be a great teaching tool. With this in mind, get the whole family to download apps, such as FEMA and the Red Cross. These can provide up-to-date information, as well as advice that might be incorporated into your own plan.
A plan is only as good as the available gear, which might mean investing in products designed for emergencies. However, you may already have the basics in your home. For instance, if you live in an area prone to tornadoes, it’s wise to have helmets — even those used for biking or baseball. Similarly, you likely have other essentials, such as batteries and flashlights, but stocking up is important. So, gather non-perishable foods and have three days’ worth of water for each member of your household. As an extra precaution, add solar-charged gadgets to your arsenal, as there’s no guarantee that power will stay on during an emergency.
Know Your House
Your home must be part of your emergency plan since it may act as a shelter. Given this, check for vulnerabilities, and issues that could be dangerous in your location. For example, if your area is prone to wildfires, it’s vital to manage your yard, as that could stop fires from closing in on your house. Likewise, if there’s a history of hurricanes, regularly check your roof for signs of deterioration. Most importantly, you must know how to shut off your property’s gas and water supply, and where to find them both. Being familiar with these valves can make a huge difference by saving precious time during an emergency. Your home can be the basis of an emergency plan, so know it and tailor maintenance to the most likely disasters.
There’s nothing more important than protecting our families during an emergency. While we cannot stop natural disasters from happening, we can do much to stay safe during one. By having a plan in place, you can have a solid foundation for any type of emergency.
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