With your family staying home from work and school last year because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, you might have found yourself wishing that you had done more to prepare for a crisis like this. Perhaps you feel more uncertain about the future than ever before, and now, you’re wondering what you could do so that your family won’t be caught off guard by similar events.
Some families already have safety plans for their household, but if you’ve never created one before, there has never been a better time to get started! Now that you have plenty of extra free time to spend with your family, you can follow these steps from Actual Activists to develop an effective safety plan.
Food and Water Storage
Before you even start hammering out the finer details of your family safety plan, take a good look at the contents of your pantry and think about which staples you want to have on hand at all times. Healthline recommends storing plenty of beans, nut butter, and canned fruits and vegetables. You’ll also want to come up with a safe, long-term plan for water storage.
Stocking Up on Necessary Supplies
What other supplies will you need besides food and water? While the answer to this question will depend on your family’s unique needs, every household should have a first aid kit. Healthgrades suggests including bandages, tweezers, gloves, and other useful tools. Once you’ve assembled your kit, help your children learn how to use these items.
Furthermore, it helps to have a few tools that will come in handy if you’re dealing with one of the most common emergency situations: a power outage! Pick up a couple of headlamps for your family members. Make sure to look for durable models with bright, long-lasting lights.
Establish Emergency Contacts
In addition to having the right supplies stored in your house, you also need to ensure that your children know who to contact if something goes wrong while you’re not around. If you haven’t taught your children how to call 911 yet, this is a great opportunity to walk them through the process and talk about different situations in which it would be necessary to call 911.
Have a Disaster Planning Meeting
Finally, it’s time to put all of the pieces of your plans together at a family planning meeting. Gather everyone together and come up with strategies for dealing with different emergencies. You can discuss plans for everything from house fires and floods to medical emergencies. Remember, it doesn’t do anyone any good, be it at home or at work, to have disaster plans made without becoming familiar with them. Panic during a crisis can be caused by not knowing what to do — going over a plan helps prevent that.
If you’ve previously talked about how you would handle these situations, you can always revise your old plans! Write down the details of your various plans, take time to listen to suggestions, and make sure that each member of your family is paying close attention.
Time to Practice
Before your family has to deal with an actual emergency, you’ll want to ensure that following your proposed safety plans will actually keep everyone safe! Therefore, it’s important to act out a couple of different situations and make any necessary changes to your plans.
Have a Plan for Storm and Flood Repairs
If you live in a storm- or flood-prone community, it’s a good idea to research contractors ahead of time for repairs you may need. While you may have subsidized flood insurance, you’ll still want to be familiar with service providers that can handle the cleanup. For example, you may lose a tree during a wind event or severe thunderstorm. To prepare for this possibility, start your search now for tree services, and always consider feedback and ratings from past customers. Tree removal services can cost as little as $50, but you can expect to pay up to $1,500 (or possibly more) to remove a large tree.
You never know when your family could end up dealing with an emergency. But if you feel anxious about this possibility, developing a safety plan that everyone can follow is the best way to soothe those worries. When you have a safety plan in place, you’ll be certain that the people you love most will know exactly what to do if disaster strikes.