September is “Emergency Preparedness Month.” It’s a good time to review or make a safety plan.
Everyone should have an emergency family plan. A plan is needed for all emergencies, not just for a terror emergency. There are weather emergencies, such as hurricane or blizzard, and emergencies related to loss of power or water.
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.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to follow the guidelines of social distancing, wearing a mask, and handwashing.
Your family plan should include the following:
- Establish a family meeting place.
- Have all emergency phone numbers (fire, police, MD, hospital) in your phone.
- Have a family emergency contact person. This can be an 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, including hand sanitizer 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 7 days. Be sure to check your supplies every 6 months. Replace any supplies that have passed their expiration date. You should have a manual can opener, flashlight with extra batteries, and a battery-powered radio.
- 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.
- Have cash and coins as ATMs may not be accessible.
- Don’t forget about your pets.
Plan to commit a weekend to updating telephone numbers, buying emergency supplies, and reviewing your emergency plan with everyone involved. For more information go to Ready.gov.