How to Prepare for an Emergency
Emergency preparedness is all the rage, especially since flash flood warnings are coming in for Middle Tennessee counties from the National Weather Service.
Thanks to technology, many residents will be able to get ahead of the weather cycle and get ready for heavy thunderstorms. But are we really ready in case of a natural disaster? Locate your family emergency packs. Can you find them? Do they include a water filter and a crank radio? Does everyone know where to meet in case the family get separated?
Insufficient preparation for natural disasters is not a personal problem, but a national and even international one. Let’s not repeat the tragedy in Central Texas here in Nashville. Here is a list of resources for you to gather before the upcoming thunderstorm. They can be your best friends in the face of disaster!
1. List of emergency contact numbers.
Local fire stations, police stations, and hospitals are must-haves. Also, include contacts for each other and designated emergency-contact relatives in nearby areas or states. In the era of smart phones where nobody bothers to remember phone numbers anymore, a contact sheet becomes particularly important in times of sudden disaster. Print your emergency contact list on neon glow-in-the-dark paper and laminate it. Seems like an overkill suggestion? Wait until a black-out.
2. Designated meeting place.
Sit the family down and decide on several meeting places. Have an alternate to your alternate. First, police station on Elms Street. In case that’s flooded, where’s next? It’s important to consider what natural disaster is likely to strike your area and devise a plan accordingly. If your area is prone to flooding, pick a meeting place in higher elevation.
Have at least 2 places to meet: one right outside of your home in case of a sudden emergency like fire (front lawn is often a good place) and one outside of your neighborhood in case you are asked to evacuate or cannot come back home.
3. Emergency pack.
Emergency packs should be in different colors for family members. You don’t want to grab the wrong one and end up with Grandma’s diabetes medicine when you need your contact lens drops! They also should be individualized and have enough supply for 2-3 days of survival. Here is a guide to prepare your own emergency kit from the Red Cross.
For pet-owners, decide beforehand who will be in charge of your pets when disaster strikes and of course, prepare an emergency kit for your pets also!
4. Extra resources.
Consider getting a NOAA Weather Radio with a tone-alert feature. This is often the best way to access alerts from the National Weather Service. Or research what resources your own community has in place. Or devise one yourself. A phone tree is a tried-and-true method of passing urgent news.
The government has a detailed emergency guide for each natural disaster. You can access the information here.
Nobody likes worrying about future disasters, but they are an inevitable part of life. So get the worrying out of the way by planning things out as a family. You can make the planning more fun by having a pop quiz or game to test each other’s knowledge. My proudest achievement is memorizing 10 emergency phone numbers, and for that, I got the last piece of the ice cream cake!
Be safe. Get ready. And don’t forget to include our contact info: 911 Restoration of Middle Tennessee (615) 208-4505. We are available 24/7 to take your call. Rain or fire or sunshine.
From your Fresh Start Angel