Thursday, 25 October 2007

Are you prepared, part 1

Being prepared for emergencies is very important and is something we all should bear in mind. So many things can happen, and if we are prepared the effects of the emergency is probably going to be much less than if you're caught by surprise.

According to the American Red Cross there are 3 steps we all should take to prepare ourselves and our families in case of emergency:

- Make a plan
- Get a kit
- Be informed

First of all, you need to make an evacuation plan. Conduct fire drills and practice evacuating your home twice a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to get out of the house in case of emergency and where you’ll meet once outside. Make sure you have 2 meeting points – one outside your house in case of fire and one outside your neighborhood in case you can’t go back home. Then plan the getaway route and drive it twice a year so you know it by heart and know how long it will take you get to a safe place. Also plan for alternative routes in case the main roads are shut down. Drive those too twice a year.

Make a contact list. Decide who is going to be your family contact and make sure everyone knows the number and how to call. If you are a Fly Baby, you know this is one of the most important pages in your control journal. Make sure the list is updated and print out copies for all the members in the household.

Have a family meeting and talk about why you need to have an emergency plan and what to do in case of an emergency. Show each family member how and when to turn off the gas, water and electricity at the main switches. Teach your children how and when to call the emergency number. Install smoke detectors and test them monthly. Buy a fire extinguisher and test and recharge it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.