Emergency Planning – How to Create an Emergency Plan

We are getting some weather here in Central Texas. The area is under a flash flood warning until tomorrow evening.  Being from Texas I don’t want to complain about the rain, but flash flooding is a little scary.  Especially if you are driving at night and you can see how deep the water is at a low water crossing.  In Central, Texas we have a saying, “Turn around, don’t drown.”

Have an Emergency Plan in Place

All this rain has got me thinking about not having an emergency plan in place. Luckily, the low water crossings near us wouldn’t obstruct me from picking my son up from school, or from getting out of the neighborhood if necessary. That doesn’t mean we don’t need a contingency plan for emergencies. So with the latest round of rain and more to come, I have vowed to create an emergency action plan for my family.

The month of September is National Preparedness Month, so I visited ready.gov to find resources on making an emergency plan and kit.  Conveniently, the site has a special section for emergency planning with kids.  Involve your children in the decision-making process to help them remember the details of what they are supposed to do.  Ready.gov has resources for creating aemergency plan logo for emergency preparedness month create a plan with a productivity specialist in austin texasn emergency contact list and meeting place, and even a checklist to make an emergency kit.  What I love the most about these resources is that they have made sheets to get children involved in the process. There is one spot where children can draw a map to your emergency meeting places. It’s never fun to talk about emergency situations, but we all need to have a plan in place.  Here is a link to the children’s resources: http://www.ready.gov/kids/make-a-plan.

Where should you meet in case of an emergency?

Ready.gov suggests selecting a meeting spot inside and outside of your neighborhood.  When picking a place to meet, it is also a good time to settle on your emergency numbers.  If you get separated from your family and can’t get to the rendezvous site, then everyone should call the same emergency number to check in.  In the case of a natural disaster or other emergencies, it may be hard to get a phone call to connect, so text messaging may be better.  For children without a cell phone, laminate a card with all the important contact information and place it in their backpack for easy retrieval.

Adults should make a list of the places you frequent and find out what their emergency plan is for those specific areas.  Don’t be caught unaware at work.  You may also want to check with your local shopping centers and consider what to do if your route from work to home is blocked.  Here is some more great information about places to consider: http://www.ready.gov/plan-for-locations . Keep in mind, you should talk to local officials and ask them what the emergency evacuation plan is for your community.  Where are the nearest shelters? How many people do the shelters hold?    How will the local officials contact the community in case of an emergency?  Don’t forget about asking your child’s school for their emergency plan.  Where are you to meet your child if something were to happen?

Planning now can save your life later.  Don’t be caught unprepared.  Does your family already have an emergency plan in place?  Are you thinking about creating a plan?  Let me know in the comments how you implemented your plan and involved your children.

If you need help getting a plan together contact me today.