Emergency Response: A Guide To Preparedness
Statistics show that only 48 percent of people in the United States have an emergency response plan in place. While disasters such as floods, earthquakes, or even house fires are inevitable and sometimes even unpredictable, and you may be asking yourself; How do I prepare for an emergency response that I can’t predict?. Most important to remember is that disasters are easier to face head-on when you have an emergency response plan in place.
Taking necessary precautionary steps every day can go a long way in helping you be prepared and have an emergency response. Follow these steps for a foolproof guide on emergency preparedness
Pack an Emergency Kit
Most experts recommend keeping a bag filled with emergency supplies, ready to carry in case you need to leave your home in a hurry in the case of a natural disaster.
Also called a ‘go bag’, an emergency kit is a portable bag that you can keep in an accessible area in case of an emergency. While you can add anything that you might need in an emergency kit, here are some things that we recommend including in your emergency go bag:
- Canned Food – canned or processed food can prove to be very useful so make sure to pack some. You should keep at least 72 hours worth of food for each family member. Moreover, don’t forget water.
- Flashlights – you can keep either battery-powered flashlights or hand crank ones.
- First aid kit – this should have all the essentials such as basic painkillers, bandages, and antiseptic wipes. In fact, it should be the first thing to pick when creating an emergency response plan.
- Resealable plastic bags – these are good to have in your emergency kit if you live in an area that is prone to flooding.
In addition, consider keeping electronics such as a radio and solar-powered battery pack to charge your phone.
Perform a Safety Check on Your Electronics
It is important to check the safety of all plugs and outlets in your house. This will ensure your safety and reduce the risk of house fires.Unplug all of your devices in case of a storm or flood. Additionally, also invest in a surge protector, as these can help protect your devices and other appliances in case of a sudden surge in power supply. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, take the necessary steps to ensure that all of your power outlets are placed at higher levels. You don’t necessarily have to wait for a flood warning to do this.
Keep Bedroom Doors Closed In the Night
In a report published by the Firefighter Safety Research Institute, keeping your door closed at night can be useful in case a fire happens to break out without you knowing.Keeping your bedroom doors closed can prevent the fire from reaching your room. However, this may not be enough. Make sure to invest in a smoke alarm so you can get out of the danger zone as quickly as possible.
Have an Action and Emergency Response Plan Ready
No matter how much you prepare, chaos is inevitable when disaster strikes. Hence, create an action plan for every family member and make sure to discuss it with them so that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
Here are a few things you can do to be better prepared when disaster strikes:
- Have a spot where everyone in the house can meet up. This spot can either be right outside your home or a few meters away from your place. It should be safe, easy to reach, and not very dark, even at night. Since the first rule of any emergency is to get yourself to safety, having a designated spot will help everyone get together in the same spot once they have escaped. So, work on your evacuation route.
- Have all emergency phone numbers (firefighters, remodeling companies, hospitals, police, etc.) written down on paper and hung on a wall that’s easily accessible so that you or your family members can quickly call for help when needed. In case you have children in the house, they should be told who to call for each situation in case an adult is not around.
- Make sure all closed-toed shoes in the house are stored in an accessible location where they are easy to find in case of an emergency.
- Keep all important documents in a waterproof bag at all times, even when there is no immediate threat. Doing this will keep all your documents in one place in case you need to grab them urgently. Examples include your passport, insurance paper, and driver’s license.
Having an Emergency Plan: Conclusion
Taking small precautionary steps every day can ensure that you’re always ready in case of an emergency. Stay calm when such a situation arises, and follow your action plan thoroughly to ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe and well.