Fires, earthquakes, floods and tornados can strike at any time. Just as you plan and prepare for evacuations at your workplace, you need a plan for your family.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross and other organizations offer excellent resources to help you plan for an emergency. You can use these resources to create a customized plan that meets your family’s unique needs. But here are a few general considerations to keep in mind:
- Identify evacuation routes, shelters and meeting places. If you ever need to evacuate or shelter in place, you and your family must know where to go, where to meet and what to do.
- Stockpile supplies. Whether you need to leave your home or stay and face the emergency head-on, be prepared with at least two weeks’ worth of food and water.
- Prepare a grab-and-go bag with:
- First-aid supplies and prescriptions
- Specialty containers, like insulated bags for insulin or temperature-sensitive items
- A small LED flashlight
- Baby needs (diapers, formula, baby food)
- Trash bags
- Identification documents (passport, birth certificate, driver’s license or photo ID, marriage certificate)
- Clothing (at least underwear and socks)
- Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine products)
- Prescription glasses (not contacts)
- Hand sanitizer and chlorine or alcohol wipes
- A cell phone charger
This is not a complete list, but it’s a good start. Remember, you will be in emergency mode, so don’t overpack. What you pack, you must carry.
Once you have a plan, practice it! Talk through it with your family and then conduct a drill. Not just knowing what to do, but actually doing it, will help your family respond appropriately in the face of an emergency.
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