Saturday, August 15, 2009

When was your last fire drill?

Remember when you were in school and they had a fire drill? They did that for a reason. If there was a fire or other emergency everyone would know exactly what to do and how to do it. For that same reason you should have an emergency drill at least 3 or 4 times a year with your family.

Each time you should not just talk about what to do in an emergency, but you should pretend there is a real emergency and carry out your plans. Have everyone go to their rooms and then turn on the fire alarm and tell everyone to get out without using the doors. See if everyone shows up at the designated meeting place.

Pretend there is an emergency and you have to leave your home. Set up tents in your yard or other location and live for a day without the luxuries you are used to. Do not go in your house for at least 24 hours. This exercise will help you to understand the challenges you will face in an emergency, and help you to think of ways to be better prepared.

Another time you may want to practice what to do if everyone in the family is away from home when a disaster takes place. See if everyone can remember the communications plan and put it into effect. Use the communications plan to tell everyone where to go so that you can all meet up together.

The important part is that you will learn much more about being prepared by actually having a dry run than by just sitting around the kitchen table talking about it.

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