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.
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.