In the middle of the night a large apartment building caught fire. The fire was intense and fast moving and caused people to jump out of windows to find safety. They escaped their homes without clothes, shoes, keys or identification. A few weeks ago we watched as Atlanta Georgia and North Carolina came to a standstill with people trapped in their cars for hours after a rare ice and snow storm. In all of these cases no one had a plan.
So what would you do if there was a fire in your home in the middle of the night? What would you do if a tornado or earthquake or blackout hit in the middle of the day? How would you escape? Where would you go? How would you find your family members? What would your kids do? Where would they go? What would you do for money, clothing and identification? What would you do if there was a need for medical equipment or specialized medications?
The time for a plan is not in the middle of a disaster. The time for the plan is now when nothing is going on, Make a plan for how to get out of your house or where to go in the house if you must shelter in place. Figure out who will pick up your kids and where they will take them if you can’t get there. Let them know your plan. If you need to escape a fire in your home, pick a meeting spot and make sure everyone can get there day or night. Have regular disaster drills. Test your family members on the plan. Gather a “GO” bag with extra medications, clothing, shoes, cash, copies of you drivers license and passport, extra cell phone and charger, phone numbers of family, friends and doctors, eyeglasses, first aid, water and food items. Keep the “GO” bag somewhere you can get to it in a hurry. Think about and plan for any special needs you or a family member my have. Make a plan if you are stuck in your car on the road. What about your four legged family members? They need food and water if you take them with you. What will happen to them if you can’t take them with you?
Not sure how to make a plan, go to http://www.ready.gov for ideas or help. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Be safe but most of all be prepared.