If a house fire or natural disaster happened tomorrow, would you and your family know what steps to take? Do you have a plan for how to act? If so, when was the last time you updated your plan? One of the best things you can do for your family is to prepare and empower them to take control in an emergency situation and follow through with your plan.
Keys to your emergency plan
To either start your plan or update it, answer these questions.
- Who lives in the home? Children (ages), pets, elderly members of the family? It’s important to identify who is in the home, as it is crucial to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities as the plan is implemented.
- How many floors does your home have? Do you have a basement, upstairs, attic?
- Is there a way to escape on each floor? Do you have a second-storey ladder handy should you have to escape from the second floor?
- Where does your family meet up after you exit the home?
- Do you have back-up copies of important documents? (licences, marriage licence, wills, birth certificates, passports, insurance forms, etc.)
- Do you have a list of emergency contacts? (Family, friends, kids’ school, etc.)
- If you have children, are they able to recite their name, address, and phone number?
- Do you have an emergency “go bag” in case you need to leave quickly?
- Do you have the following: fire extinguisher, flashlights, extra batteries, a first aid kit?
Click HERE for guidelines on how to create your own Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Just because you have a plan in place doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s up to date.
To make it easier, this guide provides a plan you can fill out while you prepare. You never know when an emergency will strike, but preparation can be the difference between life and death.
Using the guide is an easy way to identify needs in your plan that you may have overlooked. Complete the steps, remembering to consider the ages of your children and their ability to understand instruction during emergency drills as well as during the real thing.
Practice makes perfect
For families with children and pets, an emergency can be a very scary event. By communicating and practising your emergency plan together, you can make your escape more seamless and less stressful. The gift of preparation can mean that your family is ready should something happen. A good plan and a prepared family can make all the difference.