In school and at large office buildings, fire drills are required to help everyone be prepared in case there’s ever a problem. Emergency responders drill on different situations to ensure their readiness. Yet, often, we forget to apply the same situational preparedness to our homes. September is National Preparedness Month, so it’s the perfect time to change that! Planning ahead could save your life, the lives of loved ones and pets.
Knowledge is Power
The first step in being ready for anything is knowing what could happen and how to find out more. You want your whole family to be in the loop, too. So, start off by making an emergency plan. This includes things like evacuation routes, meeting locations and who’s responsible for what belongings and pets, etc.
Part of your plan should also include having access to emergency alerts. There are several ways to get them, including right on your cell phone. However, depending on how long the emergency lasts, you may want to consider an option that doesn’t require electricity.
The last thing you want to worry about in an emergency is money. Have a separate account set up with emergency funds and talk with your insurance agent to be sure you have all the coverage you need on your property and belongings. And although it may seem labor intensive, create an inventory of what you own. Use your smart phone to take pictures of rooms, open drawers and closets, and capture everything you can. Later, if you need to provide a list to your insurance company for reimbursement, you can have people help you look through the photos and write down what they see.
With all this in place, practice your emergency plan with your family. Make sure you include pets and packing belongings just like you would if the emergency was real. It’s just like a fire drill in school. Consider timing your practice sessions to have an idea of how long it takes to implement. This can help you plan ahead and also provide some friendly competition to complete the plan more quickly, meaning everyone gets to safety sooner.
No one wants a disaster to happen, but being prepared can help you get through it with less stress knowing your loved ones, pets, and most valuable possessions are safe and secure.