Disasters usually occur suddenly and without warning.They range from natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes to manmade disasters like explosions or biological weapons. Disasters can lead to panic and confusion. It’s a good idea to think about what to do in these situations before they happen and put a plan into effect. Ask the questions and make sure you and your loved one’s have the same answers. As September is national preparedness month, here are seven ways to plan for a disaster should it ever happen to you.
1. Try to think of the possibilities and create a solution. Make a plan now before you need it. Talk about it and practice it with your loved ones.
2. Have one point person that everyone should try to contact. This makes it easier to communicate and eliminates confusion. Pick someone who lives out of town so they are more likely to be removed from the disaster situation.
3. Try to text instead of call. Phone lines can get tied up when a disaster happens and this helps to keep them free for emergency workers.
4. In case of a fire, make an escape plan that includes more than one way out of every room. Practice your fire escape plan twice a year.
5.Pick a meeting place near your home and make sure everyone knows where it is. Practice meeting there together.
6. In case you can’t get home, choose another place outside of your neighborhood to meet. Practice getting there from the places you frequent most often.
7. Keep the contact information and meeting place of your family on hand. Put it in your wallet, cell phone or backpack.
Practicing your disaster plan is important. It helps to form a habit so if a disaster does happen there’s no need to panic. It will come to you automatically. Disasters can happen at any time and often when you least expect it. You can never be too prepared. Go to ready.gov for more information on disaster preparedness.