Steps to Protect My Family During an Emergency
By Jeff Welch
April 13, 2023
In an emergency, it is important to ensure your family is safe. There are a few steps that you can take to protect your family during an emergency. These steps include being aware of the potential danger, having an emergency plan in place, staying informed of updates, and preparing an emergency kit.
1. Be Aware of Potential Dangers
The first step in protecting your family during an emergency is being aware of the potential danger. You should assess the risks of different types of emergencies in your area, such as natural disasters like floods or earthquakes or man-made disasters such as fires or terrorist attacks. Knowing the risks and learning how to respond will help keep you and your family safe. It’s also important to be aware of warning signs and signals that could indicate danger is imminent. For example, if there are tornado warnings in your area and you see dark clouds forming, then it’s time to take cover.
2. Have an Emergency Family Plan
The second step is having an emergency plan in place. This plan should include where everyone will go in case of an evacuation; who will be responsible for getting people out safely; what supplies each person needs; and any medication that needs to be taken during the evacuation. The American Red Cross has a great website with a Family Emergency Plan template that you can use as a guide for creating a plan for your family (https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/make-a-plan). It’s also important to practice the plan, so everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
3. Stay Informed of Updates
The third step is staying informed about the latest developments regarding possible emergencies and their impacts on your area by monitoring local media outlets, such as radio or television stations, websites or social media accounts run by local government agencies or other reliable sources like the National Weather Service (https://www.weather.gov/) or Centers for Disease Control (https://www2a.cdc.gov/). Knowing what’s happening around you will help you make better decisions when it comes time to act quickly in an emergency situation.
4. Prepare a Home Emergency Kit
The fourth step is preparing an emergency kit with essential items that your family may need if local authorities issue an evacuation order due to a natural disaster or other emergency events (https://www2a2cecdcgov/disasters/emergency-preparedness).
This Home Emergency Kit should include items such as:
- bottled water and nonperishable food items like canned goods
- flashlights with extra batteries
- first aid supplies and medications
- copies of important documents like birth certificates and passports (if applicable)
- cash (small bills)
- Blankets and clothing changes for everyone in the family including warm weather clothes if necessary)
- pet food (if applicable)
- personal hygiene items such as soap and toothpaste etc.
- tools such as a wrench and hammer for shutting off gas lines if needed etc.
- hand sanitizer wipes, sunscreen lotion and similar, etc.
- whistles etc.
- maps of the area showing evacuation routes etc.
All these items should be stored together in one place so they can be grabbed quickly during any evacuation order from authorities due to any disaster situation.
By following these four steps – being aware of potential dangers; having an emergency plan in place; staying informed about current events related to possible emergencies; and by preparing an appropriate kit—you can help your family be more prepared to handle the unexpected during emergencies or disasters that may occur at any time without warning!
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