Emergency Preparations 101(www.5six7.com/emergencyplan)
Preparing for an emergency, long before one is actually announced, is not only a good idea, it's the responsible and mature thing to do for oneself, family, friends and community. The platitude "Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance" will manifest itself, in a good or bad way, depending on how well you have planned. By the time a potential disaster event is announced, panic has already set in to the general public. Pre-planning (not just gathering stuff) is the key to preparation. It will keep a cool head when others have lost theirs. Information, below and throughout this web site, will help to make a plan and prepare for nearly any emergency situation.
A common misunderstanding to preparing is for some end of the world situation or Hollywood doomsday scenario. Truth is, it's not about preparing for some statistical anomaly, but for the real life challenges that we are all going to face at some point in our lives; the kind of situations that will feel like the end of your world if you're not prepared. Consider these reasons to have a real, documented plan:
START WITH THE BASICS:
1 - Build at least two emergency supply kits; one with everything necessary to stay where you are (sheltering in place), and a smaller, lighter one to carry if you need to evacuate (bug out). Make a kit for each person, being alone for at least 3 days without any utility services. Look at what you already have to start your supplies and think about alternative uses for those things. Basic preparations include:
2 - Preparing and rehearsing an Emergency Plan Document is essential to preparation. Don't rely on your memory or ability to calmly handle an actual emergency when anxiety and panic are normal responses. Like anything, practice makes perfect. When the time comes and the brain wants to panic, a well-documented and rehearsed plan will provide structure, calm and clear thinking; reducing anxiety during an actual emergency.
Share it, and periodically review and practice it, with your support network. Adjust and update as needed.
Review your plan when current events are happening that could escalate into a real bad situation.
2a - Identify a personal support network of family, friends and others who help you on a routine basis. It is NOT a good plan to fend for yourself in a disaster or emergency. Designing a plan with your support network is a great way to tell them of your plans and encourage them to create their own plan. Discuss every aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your support network. Make sure someone in your support network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
2b - Designate a friend or family member, who is not local, to be the main contact and communications hub for the whole family. In an emergency, the best way to communicate with family members may be (if public local communications are disabled) one contact person who is not local and thus not in the affected area. That person can coordinate among other family members who may not be able to communicate because of issues in the surrounding area.
2c - Have several alternative destinations, in different directions, so you have choices in case of evacuation, or not able to reach your home. Inform your support network of your alternatives.
List a place to meet or go in case you are not at home, or together, when disaster strikes. List alternate locations, in sequence, if the others (including your home) are not accessible or you need to evacuate the area completely.
Consider and List the locations of out-of-area family and friends, local Emergency Shelters, Hospitals, Parks, Arenas, etc.