Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Family Disaster Plan

It doesn't take a major disaster to create a situation where a family plan would be beneficial.
Disasters happen abruptly and frequently without warning. For example, when an earthquake strikes, the ground will suddenly tremble and shake - sometimes violently for as long as 60 to 90 seconds. Many people's "fight or flight" instinct will urge them to RUN! Studies prove that many people are killed or injured as they run out of their homes or offices where windows are breaking, bricks are falling, sidewalks are cracking and power lines are coming down. Developing a Family Disaster Plan will help you and your loved ones conquer the instinct to run by teaching you how to be safe and giving you a set of procedures to follow.
First... If you have not already done so, organize your family into a council and find out what disasters, both natural and technological, could happen in your area. Share responsibilities and work together as a team.
Second... Begin compiling the elements of your Family Disaster Plan into a notebook such as a three ring binder that can be kept in a central location in your home. We've created some disaster plan forms to make this step easy.
Third... Put your plan into action. Executing all the preparations, precautions, and procedures in your family disaster plan won't happen overnight or even over a month. But it can be done one step at a time over an extended period of time.
Fourth... Practice and maintain your plan. Review your plans every six months so everyone remembers what to do. Conduct earthquake, fire and emergency evacuation drills. Rotate and refresh your emergency food and water supplies. Check your smoke detectors and replace the batteries at least once a year.

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