Do you have an emergency action plan for your family?

If you watch the nightly news, you’re aware of the frequency of natural disasters, such as the recent firestorms in California and swarms of tornadoes which devastated a large area of the midwestern United States. Besides such natural disasters, we must all be prepared for home fires, school lock downs and the like.

Health emergencies call for an action plan as well. If you don’t have a comprehensive emergency action plan in place for your family, now is the time to make sure you cover such eventualities and post your plan in a prominent location at home. Such a plan can literally make the difference between life and death. Here are some suggestions on making a meaningful and through emergency action plan to keep you and your family members safe.

To begin with, you’ll need a list of phone numbers which includes doctors, dentists, schools, hospitals, neighbors and emergency shelters. Look into your community resources and include organizations which may pertain to your family’s needs. For example, if wildfires are common in your area, find out who you can contact for updates or help should the need arise. When a crises is upon you, you’ll have the information at hand. Post this list on the frig.

To find the recommended procedures to deal with a natural disaster, get online and search ‘disaster-type emergency action plan’.

Only a couple of decades ago, people living in California didn’t give a thought to planning for a tornado which might strike their locale. Likewise, regions not usually prone to flooding in past decades might now be susceptible. So if you do have an emergency action plan, you’ll do well to reexamine and update it. If you don’t have any plan at all, do spend the few hours required to put one together.

A one-inch plastic binder should be adequate to contain all the information you need. You might use index tabs to separate various categories for easy lookup. In front, put all the numbers on the frig list. Your second tab might contain first aid procedures. If a family member suffers from a life-threatening condition, such as a heart condition or epilepsy, put the information pertinent to dealing with a crises at the front. Next, have a tab for each natural disaster you might encounter.

When your emergency action plan binder is complete, get all of your family members together and go over all of the contents. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of emergency. Older kids should carry a list of relevant phone numbers in their wallets, so that you can keep in touch and coordinate your actions. Be sure everyone knows where to meet or look for one another should the need arise.

Keep this binder in a specific location, accessible at any time. A little foresight can save you and make you feel more secure and prepared for just about any threatening event. You’ll sleep better.