4 Steps to Create a Family Disaster Plan
Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. They are one of those parts of life that often fall into the “that will never happen to me” category. But disasters do happen, and as the saying goes, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Do you and your family have a plan in case of a major flood event, wildfire, earthquake, or other disasters? Do you know who to call in case of a flood damage emergency in Bakersfield?
Here are some easy steps to follow to create a disaster plan that your family can remember and that will help you all survive and reunite after a disaster.
- What are we most likely to be impacted by? Create a plan for that, then expand for other disasters.
Think about what could happen in the Bakersfield region, and plan especially for those disasters. In October of 2016, the LA Times published an article suggesting the risk of a big earthquake along the San Andreas fault is rising. Thankfully, a month later, the newspaper published an update lowering the risk, but life in California means living with the risk of an earthquake year-round. So forming a disaster plan around the occurrence of an earthquake is a good starting point. But, don’t get stuck on that one disaster alone. It’s also wise to think about flooding, wildfires, and other elements that impact our region.
- Make a family communication plan.
Start by choosing an out-of-town relative who will be the contact point for everyone, and make sure everyone memorizes that person’s phone number. While it seems like common sense, don’t forget your cell phone won’t last forever if you have no way of recharging it, and cell and phone towers could be down. If possible, though, every person in the family should contact that out-of-town family member as soon as they can after the flood damage. That contact point can help pass along messages during the chaos.
- Have multiple meeting places.
You never know when a disaster will strike, or what areas will be impacted. So, we suggest having multiple meeting places. Think of somewhere inside your home, in or near your neighborhood, and also some place outside of town or the immediate area.
- Find safe spots in your home and determine escape routes.
Do you know the safest spots in your home? Take a few moments as a family to think about the safest areas of your home – such as a good area of shelter in case of an earthquake. Also, create an escape route from all levels. The CDC recommends having two ways out of every room in the house.
When you’re making your disaster plan, take into consideration the ages and capabilities of your children, and make sure they know how to call 911 for help, when appropriate. Also, don’t forget about incorporating your pets into your plan. If you’re able to make it out safely with your pet, be aware some shelters may not allow your pet to be there, so you should have other arrangements in place just in case.
Lastly, practice makes perfect! Practice your disaster plan and quiz your kids about the details.
When the dust settles after a flood damage disaster, no matter what it is, make sure you have Alert Disaster in your phone book. Giving us a call as soon as you can, will help get you back on your feet and back in your home sooner.