Author: Tracey Mullins
When developing a family emergency response plan it is very important to have a plan that works and one that everyone in the family completely understands. My families plan is always changing and being updated. Communicating the changes is a constant effort. However, if your family is not up to date on the plan you might as well not have one because it will result in confusion and possibly injury.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes families make when developing their emergency response plan:
1) Not having a post event communication plan – It is possible that when a major disaster occurs the family may not all be together. Having a way for you to contact each other and update on everyone’s’ whereabouts and safety offers peace of mind.
2) Not having a post event meet-up location – If your home is unsafe and you need to leave having a common meet up place for everyone to rendezvous will allow your family to get to a undisclosed location to meet up before moving onto another safe location.
3) Not preparing a bug out system – If you have to leave you will need to be able to load up your survival supplies quickly and leave. When you are building your cache of supplies it is very important to have the ability to be mobile and to take as much with you as you can. Building up a cache of supplies that cannot be reasonably moved in short order can result in leaving essential supplies behind.
4) Not having cash – When a disaster happens it is probable that ATM machines with either not work or be emptied very quickly. It is important to have some cash on hand in case you need to buy something like fuel, water or food. After a major crisis we will probably be a cash society for a while if the dollar still has any value at all. It should work for a while but long-term it may become worthless. This is when a bartering system will come into play.
5) Not storing enough water – The average person needs 5 gallons per day for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. While you can get along with less this is optimal. One of the most common mistakes is under estimating how much water will be needed. You cannot live without water for more than 3-4 days so this is your most valuable commodity. Also, having a way to clean, disinfect and store water from natural sources like rain will be key. No matter how much you store prior to a disaster you will eventually run out and will need a way to capture rain water,run off or stream water.
While this list is not all inclusive these are the most common forgotten items when developing a family emergency response plan. Take the time to put yourself in your shoes when a major disaster happens and think of all the possibilities. You may not be able to address each one but identifying them and addressing the most important ones will give you peace of mind and a plan the whole family can follow as a team.
Tracy Mullins has over 25 years experience in the emergency response industry. To learn more about how to prepare yourself and your family for the coming crisis check out Tracy’s website: http://www.family-emergency-survival-guide.com/