By Denis Korn
in an emergency situation?
Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world. I pray that you take this advice seriously. Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a foundational article.
I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals. This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days. Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.
At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones. Only a few raised their hands! Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?
Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business. What about the average household? Is your family prepared for emergencies in all seasons of the year?
It appears that most head of households have the notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency. This is a dangerous assumption. The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:
- What to do
- How to respond
- Where to go – or not go
- Who to contact
- Where the information and supplies are located
- How to use and operated essential equipment
- How to access drinking water
- How to prepare any food reserves
- How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
- How to keep warm in freezing conditions
- How to have the proper attitude
- How to pray
Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices. Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.
- Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
- How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
- What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
- What will the school provide for students?
- What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
- What will the business provide for their employees?
- Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
- Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
- What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
- Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?
Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family. Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!
So I ask all of you reading this post: In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation? I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.