Making sure your family is prepared for emergencies will give you peace of mind. You’ll be able to sleep much better at night knowing that the people you love are safe and protected, and that you’ve done everything you can.
It’s worth mentioning that you can’t always prevent an emergency from happening in the first place. For example, a natural disaster or something similar. However, in every instance you can make sure that your family is prepared. This 8 step guide will help you to prepare your family for just about any emergency.
- Save Up An Emergency Fund
It never hurts to have money put to one side in case of a real emergency. An emergency could refer to anything, from your hot water breaking and having to call an emergency plumber, to a family member losing a job and needing more money to support the family unit. Work out how much money you should realistically have in your emergency fund.
It can be tempting to keep on adding to it, but once you hit the initial amount you planned, it can be better to put it into smart investments instead.
2. Talk About What You’d Do In The Event Of An Emergency
Make sure you have a serious talk with your family about what to do in the event of an emergency. Talk about what you should do in the event of natural disasters, break ins, and other types of emergencies. Talk through your plans together and make sure they are easy for your kids to understand. For instance, where should you all meet? What is the best escape point in the house? What should the kids do if they can’t move for whatever reason? Think of every eventuality and make sure you discuss it. It might even be worth doing a run through or two every so often to keep it fresh in their minds.
3. Have Some Difficult Talks With Your Kids
Your kids are likely going to encounter some difficult situations and feelings during their young lives. You may find it appropriate to talk to them about these things to make sure they are prepared. For example, losing relatives and loved ones can be tough, but having a talk with them can make it a little easier and help them to understand. Although the right probate lawyers can make processes like this stress free, they are unlikely to be any help to kids who are grieving. Make sure you have a chat with them.
4. Put Together An Emergency Kit
Ensure you put together an emergency kit, and keep it somewhere your family will be able to access it in an emergency. It should contain:
- Water – at least a gallon per person per day, for around three to five days.
- Plenty of nonperishable food (such as dried fruit or peanut butter).
- Baby supplies (formula, diapers)
- Pet supplies.
- Pet food and water.
- Weather radio
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Dust mask (to filter contaminated air)
- First-aid kit
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Cell phone (with charger, inverter or solar charger)
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Whistle (to call for help)
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Spare batteries
5. Child Proof And Secure Your Home
Make sure your home is child proofed as soon as you move in or have kids. You should be looking at things from their level, making sure there’s nothing you have missed, covering sharp corners, making sure they can’t fall and hit their heads, ensuring blind cords are not accessible, that cupboards are locked, and more.
Ensure your home is also secured from intruders, and that your kids can’t get out of the house if they are very young. You could consider installing CCTV.
6. Download Apps That Can Help
There are apps that can be extremely beneficial to your family in the event of an emergency. Here are some suggestions:
- ICE Contact - allows you to send either an instant message or delayed message to alert your family telling them that you are in danger or need help. The messages will be sent via text, email or in-app notification, even if your phone dies and even if there is no service. Contacts do not need the app in order to receive the messages.
- Life360 - lets you keep track of your family in an emergency. It sets up a personal network so you can send messages and share locations privately. Check in every so often so you family knows where you are and send messages to everyone at once. Great for kids when they are out with their friends. You’ll add a photo of yourself to the profile and you can look at the map to see where the people you love are. You can even share lists with them and ask someone to pick up groceries on the way home.
7. Hold Regular Family Meetings
Regular family meetings not only ensure you’re all up to date with one another’s lives; they allow you to make changes to any plans you’ve made and talk about anything that could mean you have to put your plans into action, like a pending storm or hurricane. It’s a good idea to look ahead and make sure you’re as prepared as can be. You should be having at least one family meeting per month.
8. Stay Active As A Family
Staying active as a family not only allows you all to bond; it’s a great way to stay able bodied. It’ll help you to improve your fitness, stamina, and endurance levels, which can all be important for tricky, emergency situations. You’ll also be able to work together as a team, learning how one another communicates and your strengths and weaknesses, which will be imperative if you do end up in an emergency situation.