Friday, July 31, 2009

You must be prepared even if you are at work or school

Disasters and emergencies may occur during the day when people are away from home at work and school. It is important that you and your family members include this situation when making plans for emergency preparedness.

Schools and places of employment should have an emergency and disaster plan in place, but if yours does not you may want to make that suggestion. You local community Emergency Management Office may be a good resource to turn to for assistance.

The greatest source of stress during an emergency is the inability to communicate with family members, or to find out where they are. This problem can be solved if you have a predetermined communications plan that all family members know by heart. For example, the first plan may be to call the home phone and let whoever is at home know your whereabouts and condition. If there is no one to answer it may be possible for each person to leave a message on voice mail. All family members should be instructed to call and listen to voice mail messages without deleting any. If that is not possible you could consider having each person make a call to a relative or friend who lives far from you, presumably outside your area away from whatever disaster has occurred. Think of all the possibilities and then establish an emergency communications plan that everyone knows.

Talk to your employer about emergency preparedness, and offer to help establish a plan of action. Many companies store emergency foods and supplies to enable employees to function for many days if needed in a disaster. Blue Chip Group has a selection of storage foods that would work well in a work environment.

Large companies are more likely to have an emergency preparedness plan in place, but it is estimated that 80 percent of all adults work for a small company with 100 or fewer employees. Many small companies have not made plans for emergencies and disasters. Your suggestion many be of great help.

Children and adults have difficulty remembering numbers in a stressful situation, so it is a good idea to make cards for each family member with the family emergency plan of action and phone numbers. All the children who are old enough to read could have their own wallet where they could keep their emergency card.

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