Living in New England, we deal with our fair share of foul weather. But sometimes, that foul weather can create real disasters. Tornados, hurricanes, floods and lightning strikes are nothing new to us.
Of course, your main concern in the event of a disaster will be the safety of you and your family. The best plan of attack is to prepare yourself and your family by developing an emergency plan.
Here are some simple steps you can take to begin creating an emergency plan for you and your family:
Know Who to Call
- Program your "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) number in your mobile phone. Should anything ever happen to you, emergency responders are trained to check cell phones for the owner's "ICE" contact.
- Choose an out-of-area emergency contact. Should there be a disaster, local phone lines may be out of service or mobile networks could become overloaded. Designating an emergency contact outside of your area or even state could strengthen your chances of reaching someone.
Know Where to Go
- Designate two possible meeting areas for you and your family to gather - one should be close to your home in the event of a fire or other local emergency, the other should be outside your neighborhood in the event of a flood or other disaster which requires you to evacuate.
- If you are required to evacuate, know the routes you will take and where safe places to stay will be. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, a friend or relatives or an evacuation shelter.
- If you have pets, plan ahead. Be familiar with pet-friendly hotels/motels or animal shelters that are along your evacuation route.
Know What to Take
- Have an emergency kit prepared and easy to grab if you are asked to evacuate. Your kit should include extra bottles of medications, forms of ID, cash (in case ATM's are out of order), extra clothes and baby wipes (to have something to clean with), water and food that does not require preparation.
- If you have pets, don't forget to include pet food, medications, leashes, collars and ID tags or rabies tags in your kit!
- Consider keeping an emergency kit by your home's exit, inside your car and at a friend or relative's house.