Being prepared for disasters and emergencies can seem like a big job, especially after being part of a worldwide pandemic. Many people don’t know where to start, so they never start at all. Preparing ahead helps you to act, not react.
To make planning easier, in 2021 we will be focusing each month on one simple step you and/or your family can take to be prepared. Learn ways to take common preparedness information and apply it to your unique needs. Most importantly, these articles will have a special emphasis on people with disabilities and older adults.
Planning is the Most Important First Step
Small steps can make a difference. Call a meeting with family, caregivers, or other supportive people in your life. Include the following in your plan and provide copies to everyone.
1) Discuss Emergencies
Brainstorm all emergencies that could occur for your family unit or in your community. Disasters common to Wisconsin include: tornadoes, wind, hail, flooding, lightning, heat waves, winter storms, and cold waves.
2) Make a List
List all of the people in your family, noting any special needs. Make sure loved ones experiencing a disaster at work, school, or daycare know how to communicate back to one another.
3) “ICE” Contact Information
Put everyone’s contact information in cell phones as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency). Include two alternate contacts, with one being outside of the county/state. Keep a hard copy of this list. Teach everyone to text as these are more likely to go through than phone calls in emergencies.
4) Draw a Map – Plan Your Exit
Draw a map of the rooms in your house and determine two exit routes from every room. Account for family members with any mobility limitations.
5) Plan Meeting Locations
Plan two meeting locations, one near the home (i.e. next door neighbor’s mailbox) and one outside the home (i.e. grocery store parking lot).
Make a Plan and Communicate with Family
Things to Do:
Hold a family meeting to plan for common emergency situations.
Determine where and how family members will communicate.
Have a list of contact information, including alternate contacts, in cell phones and as accessible hard copies.
Know two exit routes for every room in the house.
Plan two meeting locations: near and outside of the home.
Caregivers – How can you get involved?
If your workplace requires a duty to report during community emergencies, have a trusted contact in place to check on your loved one.
February Topic: Planning with Special Needs in Mind