This is a subject that usually comes up at school. When the children are taught about fireman, stop drop and roll, and who to go to if they are lost they are also taught that there should be a Family Emergency Plan. It is hard for me and sad for me to say that we have never sat down and actually talked about a plan, yet it is something that is real and important. So what should you discuss if you are creating such a plan?
- Discuss different types of emergencies and what to do in each case
- Pick two places to meet, one outside the home if the emergency is in the home and a second a place in case for some reason you can not return home
- Chose an out of state friend as a point of contact
- Discuss what to do in the case of an evacuation, and don’t forget to take care of any pets
- Create that can be easily and quickly taken with you
After discussing the above you should complete this check list
- Post emergency numbers by the phone
- Teach children how to call 911 and when to use it
- Show all family members who to turn of water, gas, or electric
- Check your insurance coverage
- Teach each member of the family how to use the fire extinguisher
- Make sure you have smoke detectors installed
- Take a CRP class
- Discuss the best escape routes
Another thought that has crossed my mind is adding atype of feature to the children’s cell phones. This would give me the ability to pin point them in a certain area as long as they have their cell phone on them. These are just some suggestions that you and your family may want to sit down and discuss. This became very real to me recently when my son called me because he said the oven had sparks in it and it wouldn’t go out. Not knowing exactly what to do I had him go get a neighbor. I felt terrible and guilty because I could not instruct my son on what to do at a time when he was definitely upset and shaken. Thankfully by the time the neighbor returned everything was fine. Unfortunate for me I need to purchase a new baking element for my stove and am having a hard time finding a part that matches my model number.
My point is it never too early and only too late when it comes to discussing a family emergency plan. So take some time to make sure everyone in your home is on the same page and can hopefully have something to fall back on should an emergency arise.