Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Emergency Preparedness

An emergency preparedness plan is simply a plan of what your family will do if you are confronted by a certain kind of emergency. I remember being taught in school that if there is ever an emergency you should call 9-1-1. But what do you do if you are confronted with an emergency that 9-1-1 can't handle or if you don't have access to a telephone?

Before you set up an emergency preparedness plan for your family it is a good idea to know what kind of emergency you are planning for. There are 4 basic kinds of emergencies that our family is working on being better prepared for.
  1. Medical Emergencies - This includes everything from little stomach bugs to major injuries. Do you know how you would handle a broken bone if you could not immediately access professional help? What if one of your children became sick while you were out camping? Would you be prepared to help them?
  2. Financial Emergencies - We are a one-income family. At times just getting by day to day can be pretty stressful. I often wonder how long we would be able to support ourselves if we lost that one income. What would you do if you lost part or all of your income tomorrow? Would you be able to continue to take care of your family until you found a new source of income?
  3. Weather Emergencies - The biggest weather concerns for our family are tornadoes and ice storms. Where you live it might be extreme temperatures, earthquakes, or floods. Would you be prepared to live without power and possibly without access to the outside world for a time if one of these natural disasters struck near your home?
  4. Other Widespread Emergencies - Because we associate with people who tend to look at the world through a "glass is empty" point of view we regularly hear about end of the world scenarios that include war, calamity, and major changes to our way of life. I sometimes call these people "worst-case-scenario thinkers" because they always take a small event and figure out what the worst possible outcome might be and try to convince people that's exactly what will happen. Like weather emergencies, these other widespread emergencies are likely to impact day to day life and our access to services that we tend to take advantage of. How would your family react if you were forced into a quarantine or an evacuation? Would you be able to survive if power and water for miles around was shut off?
There are some basic preparedness things you can do to help you through any of these situations in addition to specific things you can do for each type of emergency. In coming posts we will be covering ideas for how to prepare for each of these emergencies. If you have not already subscribed to our feed, be sure to use one of the subscribe links on the right hand side so that you will be notified when we have posted more information for you. Also, leave us your comments about what kinds of emergencies you are preparing for so that we can be sure to include ideas for you in future posts.

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