by Mary Wright, RN, health educator at North End Waterfront Health

With tomorrow’s predicted blizzard approaching, it is a good time to create or update your family emergency plan. Everyone should have family emergency plan, for events from weather-related emergencies, which may result in loss of water and power, to terror emergencies.

Every family should have a plan that is specific to the needs of your family. Once you have a plan be sure to follow it.

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Your family plan should include the following:

  • Establish a family meeting place.
  • Have all emergency phone numbers (fire, police, doctor, hospital) in your phone.
  • Have a family emergency contact person. This can an be out of town person because they may be easier to reach than someone closer to the emergency.
  • Have all of your important documents together in a waterproof, portable container. These documents should include birth certificates for all family members, passports, social security and insurance cards, bank and housing documents.
  • Have a family emergency kit. This should include first aid supplies and all of your family’s medications. You will need to have a supply kit ready that should include infant formula, water, and non-perishable food for five days. Don’t forget a manual can opener. You should have a flashlight with extra batteries and a battery powered radio. You should have cash available as ATMs will not work during power outages.
  • Be sure cell phones and other devices are charged.
  • Remember that the family car should have a full tank of gas, a flashlight, and emergency flares. It is also a good idea to keep the car stocked with water and snacks. In the winter, keep blankets in the car.
  • Don’t forget about your pets.
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