How to build your Emergency Plan

Creating Your Emergency Plan by Bravo Echo


In Preparedness, we discuss many facets from plans to resources, communications to food and water, but one of the initial and most important items you should do for you and your family is build your emergency plan. You could probably gather around the kitchen table with your family and in a couple hours complete this critical piece of your Preparedness puzzle. Below is a basic plan. This is about as simple as it gets outside of doing nothing at all.


The point of the emergency plan is so you and those you care about can get in touch and meet back up after a major emergency. Documenting your plan is crucial and a big part to building a working and doable plan is communicating the plan while building it. Is your goal to simply have a plan or have a usable plan that all participants can use.


To get started, remember to keep it simple and get the ball rolling forward. Let your family know you will have a meeting after dinner or maybe simply call them to the table for a family discussion. Just do your best to include family members the emergency plan has impact on. Think about how you want to verbalize your goal of discussing the plan before you address it to others. Explain how you have been thinking about a plan to keep the family safe. Discuss the importance of the family working jointly to put together a working plan.


Read aloud the instructions and fill out the worksheet and contact cards as a group. If you do not have contact cards, use index cards, and do a home walk through together. We will discuss the walk-through shortly. When you are done, you will have a written plan of what each person will do in an emergency.


Once you have completed your Emergency Plan, keep it in your Emergency Bag and supply copies of the same plan to your family members for their bags. If you get separated the leader may be the only person holding the emergency plan. What good is the plan? Consider providing a copy of the emergency plan to a trusted family member or friend who lives outside the area. If possible, consider posting a copy of your plan on your refrigerator, and/or a copy in your vehicle glove box. Each person should fill out the contact card we mentioned above and put in their wallet or a safe place so they always have access to it.


Doing your emergency plan should also include a plan for work and school. Right? Think about it. You spend more time away from home right? It is important to have a plan for these locations as well. Talk to your family and decide who would pick up children during the emergency. Make sure every phone in your group is signed up for alerts from their schools, workplace, and local government.


You will need to discuss and figure out a way each member can communicate. This would mean even the times when a phone is dead or the network is down. Sometimes you can text during times a call will not go through. You may need to send a runner to deliver the message. Maybe you will leave a note on a family members car. You can figure out what method is best for your plan.


Identify team contacts, local contacts and out-of-town contacts to support your plan as needed. The local contact is a friend you can trust and depend on to lend you a hand. The out-of-town contact is your communication hub during the emergency.


It is crucial that everyone in your plan knows your out-of-town contact. They must have a way too contact the person using multiple methods. A key part of your plan is identifying how often your plan requires individuals to check in and with who. Organize your plan now to ensure it is organized when the plan is implemented.


You must determine in the plan where and when you will meet up. Some folks call these locations the Rally Point. The type of disaster or event could determine the location you identify to rally. Many plans identify the home as a central location to meet. Depending on the event, the home may not be a feasible rally point.


Think outside the box. What if you are separated and cannot communicate and someone does not show up at the first rally point? What if one parent is supposed to pick up a child and bring them to the rally point but does not show up? What is your planned time to wait on the person? Would you keep all your family members who arrived together? Or would you send a person to go locate the person?


You need to think through the “what if” scenarios and make a plan for each one. You must know where you will rally as a primary and alternate location and how you will communicate. I cover this process in more detail during the Family Communication Planning course that I will be teaching two times at Heritage Life Skills in May 2020.


Another important step is each person should build a get home bag to carry daily. If allowed they can keep the bag at school or at work or in a vehicle. The get home bag will contain essential items to navigate back to their assigned rally point to meet the group. Think about what will be needed to be as self-reliant as possible. Practice possible routes to be used as a primary and alternate route. Remember to adjust the bag for seasonal conditions.


You will want to conduct a home walkthrough of your home as part of your plan. The best situation would be if you are home when the emergency event happens. Therefore you need to be familiar with your home and area you can utilize for safety based on the emergency.

First, identify safe places. These are locations to use during specific events. An example would be heavy furniture you can drop, roll, and roll under during an earthquake. Or, what interior area at the center of your home could you use during a tornado if you do not have a basement or storm shelter. A bathroom is often selected based on location and the ability to climb in a bathtub and cover up the body. Never select a location above the ground floor. Once you have identified safe locations, document your plan. The brief your team on what command you will shout to inform them of the action to take.


Did you include all possible emergency exits in your plans? If your family must evacuate from the 2ndfloor, is there an emergency ladder to use? Based on where you may be when the emergency happens should determine which escape route will be used. This is important. The leader should know which route family members will use in the event they must backtrack in to the home to locate the person.


During your risk assessment of your home be sure to identify all potential hazards that could harm or impede escape routes. Determine a mitigation plan around the hazardous threat. This assessment should also include exterior hazards such as large trees that could crush the house or locations where limbs could penetrate a window or wall.


After your risk assessment of your home, routes, and any other location, you should identify what emergency tools and supplies you may need. Rolls of plastic. Ply wood. Duct tape. Battery powered tools that you keep charged. These are just a few of many suggestions. But, don’t just have them. Know how you will use them and practice if needed.


EMERGENCY PLAN WORKSHEET


School Plan:

School name: _________________________ Emergency Contact: ______________________

Address: _____________________________ Phone: ________________________________

Plan: _______________________________________________________________________

Daycare/Caregiver Plan:

Company:_____________________________ Emergency Contact: _____________________

Address: ______________________________ Phone: _______________________________

Plan: _______________________________________________________________________

Work Plan:

Company Name: _______________________ Emergency Contact: ______________________

Address: _____________________________ Phone: _________________________________

Plan: ________________________________________________________________________

Team Contacts:


Full Name: __________________________________ Phone: ___________________________

Other # or Social Media:_______________________ Email: ____________________________

Medical/Other Information: _____________________________________________________


Full Name: __________________________________ Phone: ___________________________

Other # or Social Media:_______________________ Email: ____________________________

Medical/Other Information: _____________________________________________________


Full Name: __________________________________ Phone: ___________________________

Other # or Social Media:_______________________ Email: ____________________________

Medical/Other Information: _____________________________________________________


Full Name: __________________________________ Phone: ___________________________

Other # or Social Media:_______________________ Email: ____________________________

Medical/Other Information: _____________________________________________________


Full Name: __________________________________ Phone: ___________________________

Other # or Social Media:_______________________ Email: ____________________________

Medical/Other Information: _____________________________________________________


Local Contact:


Full Name: ________________________________________ Phone: ______________________

Address: __________________________________________Email: _______________________

Additional Information: __________________________________________________________


Full Name: ________________________________________ Phone: ______________________

Address: __________________________________________Email: _______________________

Additional Information: __________________________________________________________


Out-of –Town Contact:


Full Name: ________________________________________ Phone: ______________________

Address: __________________________________________Email: _______________________

Additional Information: __________________________________________________________


Meeting Place:


Neighborhood Meeting Place: _____________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

Additional Information: __________________________________________________________


Across Town Meeting Place: ______________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

Additional Information: __________________________________________________________


Out-of-Town Meeting Place: ______________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

Additional Information: __________________________________________________________


Get-Home Checklist:

Snacks Water Poncho Emergency Blanket Flashlight Whistle N95 Mask First Aid Kit Contact Card


Home Walk Through:

List the identified safest places in your home:

____________________________ ___________________________ __ _________________


List all emergency exits:

____________________________ _____________________________ ___________________

____________________________ _____________________________ ____________________


Hazards to address:

____________________________ ____________________________ _____________________

____________________________ ____________________________ _____________________


Emergency Tool Checklist:

Emergency Kit Flashlight and Headlamp Pry Bar Fire Extinguisher

Car Emergency Kit Power Station or Generator Gas Shutoff Tool Fire Escape Ladder

Backup Food and Water Furniture Straps and Anchors Smoke or Monoxide Detector

First Aid Kit


I hope this helps you with a general understanding to build your emergency plan. Remember, think outside the box while creating your plan.


Blessings,


Bravo Echo Out

preparedness101@protonmail.com




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