Do you and your family have a plan if there is an emergency?
What if something happens, do you know what to do? Where to go? Have a secondary location if you cannot make it to the primary one? What if you are separated from each other, do you have a plan for that?
In this article, I want to help you to make a plan for an emergency.
Ideas and Considerations
Who is going to be involved? Not only how many people are in your “group,” but also if there is anyone that is needed. Is this going to be only for yourself or for multiple people? Some people you might want to think about include your immediate family, friends, neighbors, people that live out of the area. And what about the animals in your household? Do you have a plan for them? Having a place that they can go or be house temporary is very important to think about.
You also want to take into consideration the age of people in your group, do any of them have any disabilities, need any medication, and what is the physical ability of everyone. I bring these points up because a friend of mine has everything dialed in. He even has friends that are doctors, cops, preppers, and the list goes on and on. We all know what our task is and where to meet up. This is why planning is so important.
Complete a Family Plan
I have found it best to work as a team. Making sure everyone is on the same page is the only way to make this work. This way everyone is on the same page and since they get to help you get their buy-in!
My suggestion with this is to get a few maps, pens, paper, highlighters, and always a good attitude. This is something that will likely take time so enjoy the process. You can then get everyone’s ideas and suggestions. The first step I take in this process is establishing two meeting places (in different locations). If you want more that’s even better (we also have one out of the state).
The next step is getting a way that you can communicate. In natural disasters or any type of emergency, cell phone towers might be jammed with many people using them. The flip side to that is if power is out, you might not have any internet access. Therefore, having a plan in place with multiple ways of communication is key. This is also why having a meeting place is important to establish early on.
A few thoughts about notification systems. The news is always a good start but having a radio is the best. Other options include Nixle (if your area offers this), google alerts, and weather apps.
Practice Your Plan
MOST important is making sure everyone knows the plan. If you have a specific place to meet up, know how to get there. This should be able to be done without a cell phone or GPS. Depending on what is going on, again, cell phones might be overwhelmed and not working properly. With that said, it’s also good to make sure everyone has cell phone numbers. I personally keep a small piece of paper in my wallet with a few important numbers to know.
A few more suggestions, I tend to lean towards using Google for most everything. So the next few suggestions is going to be with them. You can always adapt this to fit your own needs. I have a Google voice phone number because I figured it is a good way that everyone in my party can remember. Also, along those same lines is having a group email account (this Google email address is linked to the phone number, super cool!). It is super easy to keep in contact with this and everyone knows the password (this is key). You can put the plan you all agreed on into an email. The trick is to then save it to “drafts,” that way anyone can log into the email and get the plan. If you want to take it a step further, you can put it in a Google Document that everyone can easily change or make adjustments to.
As I’m mentioned this, I realized I also use Dropbox. This is a way that I backup everything in my plan. I’m the only one that has access to it, but I like to keep a “Master” that is updated every 6 months or so. The goal here is to have the ability to share the information with everyone in your group. The easiest way to do that is to upload it to the infamous CLOUD, via Google or another similar system.
Something that we do is to have a contact out of the area. It is important for it to be someone you trust and know what your overall plan is. It’s even better, and in our case, to have two that are out of the state. This is a way that if something happens, you can call the individual (out of the area) and notify what is going on. That way they can be your “dispatcher” and advise other parties in your group what is going on.
Years ago my family decided to also have a “safe word.” Yes, I know what you’re thinking but it’s not like that. It is a way that we can tell if everything is okay. If someone uses the safe word, we have a protocol of what to do. Basically, we get the person out of the situation they are in. This could be used for different situations that fit with your family or group’s plan.
What is Your Plan?
Being prepared and having a plan is important, especially nowadays. Do not wait to create a plan, until it is too late. Knowing what your plan is and practicing what you’re going to do, will make it a smooth process if it is ever needed. Having at least two different options is ideal, just in case, something happens to your primary plan.
Our goal is to always keep our loved ones safe. The task now is to start making a plan!
If you have any suggestions or enjoyed this article, please leave a comment. I enjoy hearing what others do or if this is something you will be putting together. If you have any questions please let us know and we will do what we can to help you out.
Thanks for stopping by, now take a break and go for a walk!