When an emergency happens, you’ll need to act fast. It’s important that you have a plan in place for your entire family and perhaps those outside of your immediate household so that you can ensure the safety of your loved ones. Emergencies are completely out of your control, but you can choose how to deal with them effectively.
Types of Emergencies
There are many different types of emergencies that you should be aware of. These include, but are not limited to:
Blizzards: More than just the typical snowstorm, blizzards are more severe and cause less visibility and more snowfall.
Earthquakes: Earthquakes can be extremely dangerous because they move the ground and can cause damage to buildings, which means falling debris.
Fire: Wildfires typically require people to be evacuated from their homes to keep them safe.
Hurricanes: Hurricanes are tropical storms that come with high-speed winds and can result in flooding.
Pandemics: A pandemic is an illness or disease that affects an entire country or the entire world.
Terrorist Attacks: A terrorist attack is typically the use of violence for political or religious purposes.
Tornadoes: Tornadoes are the funnel-shaped clouds with destructive whirling winds that can damage anything in its path.
Civil Unrest: Civil unrest can be described as a group of acts of violence and disorder in reaction to an upset with governmental, prejudicial, and public law and order.
Don’t Wait, Prepare Now
Your best chance for ensuring the safety of your family is to prepare for disasters even if you aren’t expecting any. If you live in a place known for hurricanes, it’s absolutely crucial to have a plan of action in place even if the weatherman isn’t expecting any storms anytime soon. Even if you don’t live in a place known for emergencies, it’s a good idea to have a plan of action in case an emergency does occur in your area. No matter what the emergency is, it’s better to prepare ahead of time.
In primary schools, children learn the importance of fire drills. While fires in this setting are rare, these safety measures are put in place to ensure their safety. Similar to this, your family needs a plan for each type of disaster. For example, your plan for a hurricane may be different from your plan for a wildfire or flood.
Make sure to learn as much as you can about the potential types of emergencies that can occur in your area. Your local government should provide you with guidelines on how to plan for emergencies and what you can do to keep your family safe should one occur.
Much like a fire drill, make sure to practice your emergency action plan to ensure that your entire household knows exactly what to do in case something like this arises, and you aren’t together.
Why You Need to Prepare
There are tons of reasons for preparing for an emergency before it happens. These are some of the most important:
Utilities Cut Off: Immediately following an emergency, utilities can be cut off. If you aren’t fully prepared, you won’t have access to water or communication that allows you to stay updated on the current situation.
Emergency Responders: If you don’t prepare, emergency responders may not be able to reach or find you.
Supply Shortage: Even if you’re able to make it to a grocery store during an emergency, you can expect that they will likely be out of a lot of the supplies you’ll need.
Emergency Plan for Domestic Incidents
While when you think of an emergency, you may think of a natural disaster, there are other types of emergencies, such as civil unrest and terrorist attacks that should also be considered.
When these incidents arise, you need an emergency plan for both at home and at work. If you own a business, you should make sure that your plan is available to employees in their handbook. You should also do drills at least once or twice a year to ensure that your employees will be safe in case something happens.
While natural disasters can be planned for since the weatherman can predict when hurricanes will hit, terrorist attacks and moments of civil unrest can’t always be predicted.
For example, a criminal may walk into your place of work with a gun for any number of reasons. Maybe they are an employee who was recently fired and became unhinged. Maybe they’re the spouse of someone who works there. No matter what the reason, these situations do occur, and they are more common if you’re a person of high net worth or someone who may have enemies.
It’s important that you work with a team that is trained to deal with these types of situations so that you can learn the best plan of action to keep yourself and your employees safe in case of an emergency.
Emergency Preparation from FEMA
Now that you know why it’s best to be prepared for certain emergency situations, it’s important to understand that there is no one plan of action that works for all types of emergencies. FEMA has done a lot of research in this area, however, and has determined that you should be prepared in the following ways for every type of emergency:
1. Emergency Supply Kit
Make sure that you have an emergency supply kit ready for any type of emergency. This kit should include water, food, medications, and any service animals. You may also want to consider any other supplies like glasses and medical supplies.
2. Setup Emergency Communications
In case of an emergency, you need to know how you will get in contact with your family members in case you are separated. You should share this plan with neighbors and loved ones so that they know how to contact you in case the power goes out or cell phones stop working.
3. Create a Map
Sharing a map with your family members can help them find you and other resources in case you are separated, or they are unfamiliar with the area. For example, if you have children, you’ll want to teach them how the map works so that they can find you in case you aren’t together. Make sure to include the fire department, police department, and other city resources on the map.
Being prepared means that you’ll have to take some time to consider what items are necessities and how you want to deal with each particular type of situation. In the case of an evacuation, you may want to create a different emergency kit than one for a hurricane where you are advised to stay indoors.