September is National Preparedness Month and that means that it’s time to get your home, school, church or business ready in case of an emergency. If you take some simple steps now, you will be better prepared for unexpected disasters and emergencies.
During National Preparedness Month, the City of Southlake Office of Emergency Management will present a series of articles providing helpful tips on how to prepare for the worst. This week’s article discusses the need to have an emergency plan.
Last week, you learned the importance of having an emergency kit ready to “grab and go” at a moment’s notice and the necessary items that you should have in it. The next step is to have a plan for your family to get to a safe place and meeting point as quickly as possible. If you and your family are at home when disaster strikes, everyone should instantly know where to go. Disaster does not always strike when you are home though, so also know where you will go if you’re at work or other establishment outside your home. Also talk to your children about what to do while they’re at school and to follow the instructions of those in charge.
It’s also important to develop a communications plan for those times when family members are away from each other. Though we’d like to think we’d be able just to pick up our phones and make contact with our loved ones, that may not be possible due to infrastructure damage or overloading. Always have an emergency contact located outside of your area code that your family can call and let someone know that they’re okay. Due to the nature of telephone systems, it may be easier to reach a long distance number than a local number. In case cell phone towers are down, try sending text messages as they will still go through even when the tower may be jammed with other calls.
Make sure that all of your family members are familiar with your plans at home and know where to go and what to do when they are not home. Preparing and deciding on your course of action now could save your life in the future.
For more information on creating a plan, visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/Prepare.