Developing an Intricate Emergency Response Plan

Chaos and panic will abound whenever disaster strikes. That chaos and panic can be compounded if you are not prepared. Preparing in advance is the key to survival in emergency situations. Take the time now to sit down and develop an emergency response plan with your family so that you are not in a bind when the time actually comes.

One of the first topics that should be covered before developing your personal plan is to determine what disasters are common to your local area. Check with a local American Red Cross chapter to see which ones you should be concerned about. Common natural disasters include:

  • Flood
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Earthquake
  • Fire
  • Hazardous material spills

Knowing what can affect your home and family will help you when developing an emergency response plan with your family.

Try to create a plan that will work for almost any emergency situation. One of the first things you will want to create is a floor plan of your home. Make sure your children can understand the drawing and then discuss possible escape routes. Once the escape routes are established, mark them on the floor plan. It is highly recommended to tape the floor plan where everyone can access it. Common posting places are on the refrigerator or by the telephone.

The next step is to discuss emergency telephone and contact numbers. For younger children in your home, help them learn to dial 911 and discuss appropriate times for calling. Create a sheet of local and out of state family members to call in case of an emergency. Also on the sheet include the number to the police, fire department, and family physician. Remember to display this sheet in an area of the house that all members of the family will be able to remember and access in the event of an emergency.

Gather your family and discuss the different effects of various natural disasters. Establish safe places in the house to take cover in the event of a natural disaster. This should also be the place where your emergency supplies are stored. Be sure to establish a place outside of the house to rendezvous later should everyone get separated during the emergency situation.

It is important to make the emergency response plan a priority. Run drills with your family every month and go over the plan that you have put in place. Should the time come when an actual emergency takes place, you can be certain that everyone is ready to act on what they have learned.

If possible, have every member of the family take a CPR and first aid class. These classes are offered by the American Red Cross and other agencies for a nominal fee. Typically, the entire class is completed in about four hours and is administered frequently throughout the year. Becoming CPR and first aid certified is a good start in getting your family ready to take charge in the event of an emergency.

For more information on creating an emergency response plan, visit our free crisis management website. It is full of valuable information and tips to prepare your family for an emergency situation. The best time to prepare is not when the emergency has already happened. Start preparing today for a natural disaster that could happen tomorrow!