Preparation is everything when it comes to natural disasters. Unfortunately, not all natural disasters can be predicted with pin point accuracy. We know that natural disasters and the unexpected are a part of life and we have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to be as prepared as possible for such events.
We believe in keeping it simple when it comes to disaster preparedness. Our three step process, PLAN. PREPARE. PRACTICE. is very effective in helping you develop a preparedness plan. It is also very simple to implement.
We have written a couple blog posts about the first two steps in the process. You can read how to make a PLAN for you and your family’s safety HERE. The second step is to PREPARE this plan for action and you can read about how to PREPARE HERE.
The final step in the process is to PRACTICE. Practice is the action step that ensures everyone involved understands the details of your plan. Practice brings the plan together.
There are several ways you can practice to ensure your family will always be prepared for any emergency situation that may arise, whether it be a tornado, hurricane, fire, or earthquake. Here are a few of those ways:
1. Review your family emergency workbook.
A family emergency workbook is a documentation of your life. In the event a disaster destroys everything, the ability quickly obtain your important documents, account numbers, passwords, medication lists, important phone numbers and addresses, etc, will make the process after a disaster easier to overcome.
Review your workbook to make sure all information is up to date. Update your contact phone numbers, especially those of your family members and neighbors. Store your workbook in your safe place such as your tornado shelter, lockable safe, or safety deposit box. It is also a good idea to give a copy of your workbook to a trusted family member so they have it readily available to them if they need to take care of things in your absence.
If you do not have a FAMILY EMERGENCY WORKBOOK we have developed one which can be downloaded HERE. The workbook covers many categories from insurance contact information to a register of possessions.
2. Perform an emergency drill regularly.
Performing an emergency drill will ensure your family knows exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. The more often you practice, the better prepared you will be. If you have younger children, they may become especially frightened during a situation like a tornado. By performing drills, they will understand what to expect and this may help with the stress during an emergency.
If you live in an area that is prone to seasonal natural disasters such as tornadoes or hurricanes we recommend you perform a drill at the beginning of each season to refresh everyone’s memory on the actions needed. If needed you may want to perform the drill a couple more times throughout the season to make sure everyone is prepared. If you live in an area that is prone to disasters that are not as easily predicted such as earthquakes and wild fires you may want to preform a drill two to three times every year.
It is essential to keep your emergency plan of action top of mind for everyone in your family. This will allow for a quick & systematic reaction to the situation and will result in a more favorable outcome.
3. Routinely check emergency supplies.
Keeping your emergency supplies stocked will bring you peace of mind. Knowing you have all the food, water, medication, extra clothing, etc if you have to endure a natural disaster for an extended period of time alleviates many of the issues that could arise.
If you have younger children, be sure to store items for them to play with to keep them calm during the situation, like coloring books and games. Store extra batteries for your fan or flashlights and ensure your weather radio is still in working condition.
If you have a tornado shelter, store these items in your shelter. You can store them in an air tight box to extend their shelf life. If you do not have a tornado shelter you can store them a backpack and kept your safe place so that it is easily accessible.
It is important to check your supplies routinely because your needs change and your supplies may need to change as well. It is also important to ensure your supplies are not expired and everything works properly.
The word "practice" is defined as: repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it. As with any activity or skill, repetition is the key to success. Repetition in the exercise of your emergency plan will provide you with peace of mind and will result in you to be more calm in a tense situation. The term "disaster" does not have to be a reality for you. Even in the midst of a "disaster" you can have a calm and know that all is not lost because you are prepared.