Emergency Plan to Protect Your Family - PIH Health

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Published on June 16, 2015

Emergency Plan to Protect Your Family

Disaster Planning

Family preparing for an emergencyPreparing your family for an emergency may not be at the top of your list of things to do, but given the potential for earthquakes and fires in our area it should be. You could spend an entire weekend preparing your home and family for a disaster. But if you are short on time, here are four easy steps:

  1. Buy or assemble an emergency kit or two. Essential items should include an emergency radio, first aid kit, water, food bars, blankets, breathing masks, tape, hand sanitizer and flashlights. Keep these in an area of your home that would be easily accessible in the event of an emergency. If you have the resources to purchase two, keep one in your car.
  2. Have an evacuation plan. The type of disaster will dictate your exit strategy. For instance, if a fire breaks out by the front door, your family should have another predetermined route to safely exit your home. If you live in a two-story home, having a collapsible ladder will come in handy. Teach your family the easiest and safest ways to get out of your home.
  3. Create a communication plan. If you have young children, make sure they know how and when to call 911. Since cell phones are usually the main form of communication, be sure to have an “In Case of Emergency (ICE)” listed on your phone contact list. Emergency medical responders will know who to contact in the event you are unable to do so. Speaking of cell phones, after an emergency phone lines will be overwhelmed with people trying to contact their loved ones - text messaging should be your first form of communication. Lastly, most cities and/or counties have emergency alert systems in place. Once you register with your phone or email address, the system will send out emergency communications and updates.
  4. Prepare outside the home. It’s important to ensure that your child’s school or daycare is prepared for an emergency, too. Ask how they have prepared for an emergency and how they will communicate with you during a crisis. The same information applies to your workplace. If your employer does not provide an emergency preparedness kit, encourage them to do so or purchase one for your desk.

For more information on how to prepare for an emergency, please visit our disaster resource center.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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