MAKE A PLAN
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations. Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan. Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities.
Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
If your home is taller than ground level, plan to use an escape ladder from upper floors. Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with these products and is comfortable using them. Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency. Record the locations.
According to The American Red Cross, the internet – including online news sites and social media platforms – is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.
Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies and/or disasters. With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs.
PLAN FOR YOUR RISKS
There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each. Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each. Share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan.
Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disasters, both natural and man-made. You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door.
For more information on how you and your family can become more prepared for a disaster please go to www.ready.gov to set up a plan. For information about our local Emergency Management Office go to www.dcoem.org.