Saturday, May 07, 2016

Creating a Disaster Preparedness Plan for Your Home and Family

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Millions of people around the world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and left residents homeless. Similar disasters struck in other areas, including the East and West Coast of the United States, Japan and Thailand. Even if you live in a relatively safe area of the country, you need to think about what you would do and how you would react if a natural disaster struck. Creating a preparedness plan helps you keep your family safe during a flood, hurricane, fire or another emergency situation.

Develop an Evacuation Plan

More fires breakout in the middle of the night than in the middle of the day. When you wake up to your home filling with smoke and flames licking your doorway, you may panic less when you know what to do next. An evacuation plan should cover each room in the house and tell everyone living there where to go and what to do. Consider placing emergency ladders in a convenient place in all rooms on the second floor. You should also identify a safe place for your whole family to meet such as in the driveway or in a neighbor's yard.

Have Survival Kits

Depending on the type of natural disaster, you may find yourself living in your home for several days or longer with no running water or electricity. Having one large survival kit or several smaller kits for each person in your family is a must. These kits should include bottled water, nonperishable food, medications, a first aid kit and clean clothing. You'll even find survival kits for pets that you can keep in your home. These kits often include food, water, dishes, first aid supplies, toys and even a new collar and leash.

Practice Your Plans

No matter how effective you think your disaster preparedness plan is, that plan means nothing unless your family remembers that information. Try practicing the plan at least once a month. Spring those tests on your spouse and kids at unexpected times of the day to keep them on their toes. The more times you rehearse and go over those steps, the more they'll retain that information. Keeping your family safe during a flood, fire or another disaster situation is much easier when you create an evacuation plan, go over that plan regularly and keep survival kits on hand.
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