What is Your Plan in the Event of an Emergency?
With the devastation in Texas, having been caused by Hurricane Harvey, most of us once again turn our thoughts not only to concern for those who are affected, but to our own emergency preparedness. It’s interesting that it often takes a disaster to get us to think about what we need to do to be able to handle an emergency that could occur in our own life.
Emergencies can come in many forms, what if…
- there was a hurricane?
- there was an earthquake or a volcanic eruption?
- there was a flood?
- there was a wild fire?
- you lost your job?
- you had a bad accident or had a serious health issue?
These are situations we need to think about and be prepared for, not whenever we get a free moment, but we need to do it now. If you lived in Houston today, how prepared would you be?
Obviously we can’t address how to be prepared for every situation in one blog post, so we’ll start where everything needs to start…with a plan.
Creating Your Family’s Emergency Plan
Emergencies are never convenient! They can happen in the middle of the night, when your family is not all together, or any of several inopportune times. These are things you need to plan for, and because emergencies affect everyone in the family, everyone in the family who is old enough to understand and contribute should be involved in creating the plan.
- With your family, talk about the types of emergencies that could happen where you live.
- In the event that the family is separated, you need to create a communication plan, how can you contact each other?
- Connecting with each other during a disaster may be easier through a 3rd party, someone who will not be experiencing the same situation you are. It can be a friend or a relative. Everyone should know their phone number by heart. Make sure your contact person knows they are part of your family’s plan.
- If phone lines are working, you can call this person. If phones aren’t working, texting may still go through so you can let them know that you are ok, and where you are.
- Make sure emergency phone numbers, such as hospitals, fire departments and police stations are posted by your home phones and memorized in your cell phones.
- Keep your cell phones charged so they are available to you and conserve your battery power during an emergency. You can do this by reducing the brightness on the display, keeping it in airplane mode and making sure all of your apps are closed. If possible, keep extra charged batteries available.
- Young children should be taught how to call 911.
- Locate the “safe spots” in your home for the type of disaster you might experience.
- Plan escape routes in the event your home needs to be evacuated quickly, especially if your house is on fire. Two escape route for each room is preferable.
- Plan a couple of different meeting places both inside your neighborhood and outside of it.
- Make sure you and older children know where to turn off water, gas and electricity in your house and how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Conduct “family drills” to practice the plan regularly.
- Considering the types of disaster that might strike your area, make sure that you have the right insurance coverage for your property.
- When you are making this plan with your family, help your children to understand that this is to make them feel more secure, not afraid, in the event of an emergency.
If you have any questions about your property insurance coverage or if you’d like a free quote, Contact Us at Whitcomb Insurance.