Why your family should have a disaster preparedness plan

You never know when disaster can strike. Inclement
weather, natural disasters, and many other emergency situations may require
the need to rapidly react to unexpected circumstances. The more prepared
each person in your family is for when the unthinkable happens, the more
likely it is for everyone to

emerge from a disaster safely

Disaster preparedness comes down to one thing: a plan. Here are five
critical reasons why your family should start working on one now.

1. Preparing makes disasters less scary

Disasters are

. No one likes to think about being in danger, but preparing in advance can
make a disaster

easier to deal with

when the time comes. While there are many emergencies you can’t foresee
happening, there are some emergency situations where you have ample lead
time to prepare, such as a hurricane. If you know that you have the right
insurances, that key documents and medications are secure, and that your
family has a plan to stay safe, facing an

oncoming storm

feels much more manageable.

2. You may not have much time

Because disasters are unpredictable, you may not have a lot of time between
when you learn of an incident and it occurs. Feeling rushed and hurried in
a crucial moment not only leaves you stressed, it can result in sub-optimal
decisions. When faced with a difficult circumstance and short timetable
within which to react, it’s

important to already have a plan in place

— especially in terms of how to get to safety.

3. You don’t know where your family will be

Work. School. Travel. Errands. There are a lot of reasons your family is
separated throughout the day. An important part of any disaster plan is
determining where your family will meet and how you will communicate —
particularly in the event that the disaster impacts mobile phone service.
If your family has a plan that everyone is aware of, you can be confident
that everyone will know how to react. Be sure to incorporate emergency
plans from your workplace and your children’s schools into your own.

4. You may have to evacuate

Floods, hurricanes, or wildfires may result in your family needing to
evacuate your home with short notice. Planning ahead ensures you know the
best evacuation routes and are prepared with what you need to bring,
including food, water, clothing, medication, and

important documents

5. Supplies may be scarce

During and right after a disaster, food, water, electricity, and other
essential supplies may be difficult to come by. A disaster supply kit, shelf-stable foods, and knowledge

how to treat water

are important parts of a disaster plan, ensuring your family has the
essentials needed to remain safe in a disaster situation.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: when a disaster strikes, it’s too late to begin planning.
Effective disaster plans require lead time to acquire the right supplies,

learn skills

such as CPR, and assemble important information. If it’s clear a disaster
is on the horizon, it will already be too late to react in many of these
areas, so begin building a plan now!

Your family may never need to use it, but practicing the plan a few times a
year and ensuring it’s ready and up-to-date can provide everyone with the
peace of mind that if the unimaginable happens, you’re ready to face it

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