Emergency Plan Creation in Eight Simple Steps
There’s no way of knowing when a disaster might strike, but you can make it more manageable by having a plan for emergencies. It doesn’t have to be elaborate to be successful, but you do need to prepare so that you have confidence to calmly work through disasters. Here are some simple steps that you can take to be prepared for whatever comes your way.
- Make a contact list. You may have all of your most important phone numbers memorized, and that’s a step in the right direction. But in an emergency, your mind may be racing, and it might be helpful to have a list of numbers to avoid extra stress during an emergency. Include:
- Utility companies in case you need to have gas or electric turned off
- Your insurance company to report damage and see what your policy covers
- Emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance (911 should suffice, but local numbers may also be useful)
- Loved ones, neighbors and anyone else that needs to know that you are safe and/or need help
- A restoration company who can mitigate damage to your property
Note: Be sure that everyone in your home knows about and has access to the numbers in case of an emergency.
- Store food and water. To some it may sound excessive, but it is important that your home is stocked with food and water. Canned food is perfect for emergencies since it can be stored up for long periods of time without going bad. (Don’t forget the can opener.) It’s also vital that you have water stored. Three gallons of water per person should last three days. Just be sure to replace both your food and your water as recommended by the given expiration dates.
- Plan escape routes. In the event that it is safer outside your home during an emergency, you will need an evacuation plan. Go beyond identifying exits. Draw out, discuss and practice escape routes. Give yourself two ways out of any room. For help mapping your evacuation routes, download the checklist from the National Fire Protection Association.
- Acquire a first aid kit. First aid kits can be bought almost anywhere from the grocery store to CVS, Target and Walmart. Make sure it is portable so that you can take it with you if you must evacuate your home. The American Red Cross suggests you put the following items in your kit:
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 emergency blanket
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress, also found within our First Aid Kit
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each) (
- 1 3 in. gauze roll (roller) bandage
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 3 in. x 3 in. sterile gauze pads
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandage
- Emergency First Aid guide
You may also want to add an extra pair of eyeglasses and a three day supply of your prescription medications. (Just be sure to trade them out periodically so they aren’t expired if and when you need them.)
- Plan for your pets. During an emergency, you don’t want your pet(s) running around loose—because they could get hurt and because they could become a hazard to you and other household members. If there’s a severe storm or tornado, pets should be in a safe and secure place with you. And you should make a plan for what to do in case of a fire. Practice with your pets when you do your emergency drills. Don’t forget to pack extra water and dog food with your emergency supplies.
- Get hand or battery-powered devices. Battery or hand-powered flashlights, radios, etc. can be an essential part of being prepared for any disaster. If you choose battery powered devices, you must also store up enough batteries to last you through the disaster. A hand-powered device, such as a flashlight, on the other hand, is powered by a crank that can be manually turned to generate power. Since these devices don’t require electricity or batteries, you wouldn’t need to worry about them running out of power when you need them most.
- Determine where to store emergency items. A good place to store your first aid kit, as well as your stored food and water and your list of phone numbers is likely to be the same place you would go to weather a storm or tornado such as a basement or a small room without windows (preferably on the first floor and in the center of your home if you do not have a basement). Make sure that everyone knows the fastest route to this designated area, and don’t forget to practice getting there.
Hays + Sons does disaster restoration right, with a focus on their customers and their needs. They offer professional help in areas such as board-up services, storm repair, mold remediation, water removal, fire and smoke repair, and restoring personal property. As the Official Restoration Company of the Indianapolis Colts, they strive to go above and beyond in meeting the needs of those who call on them for help with property damage and communicate with them throughout the entire restoration process. Contact them today so that you can return to your normal.