The Family Emergency Plan

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How to Create a Family Emergency Plan @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Family Emergency Preparedness

You can read the rest of the Family Emergency Preparedness Series here.

I know. We don’t like thinking about the possibility that our lives could be changed in a moment. Whether it’s a house fire, tornado, hurricane, winter storm, or even a terrorist attack in our community {or neighboring city}, at some point we all may face a crisis where we need to make life and death choices.

Would your family know what to do?

Consider these scenarios:

  • Do your children know how to get out of the house if it were to catch on fire?
  • Does your family have a meeting place established in the event of a grid down or terrorist situation?
  • What should you do if your separated?
  • Where would your family go if your community was faced with a pandemic?

I’ll be honest. This is something that has been weighing on my heart. I have had a few conversations with my kids over the years about what to do in an emergency, but we’ve never sat down and laid out a serious plan of action. I’m not sure my children {or I} would know what to do in certain situations. I’ve been giving this some deep thought over the last few weeks. It’s time our family  made a plan.

[Tweet “Be prepared, not scared! 45 Tips for Creating a Family Emergency Plan:”]

I started this series a few weeks ago. Mostly because as I’ve watched the news and added up all of the troubling current events, I felt led to share my thoughts with all of you. Most of the people I know are simply content to go about their daily lives as if we were still living in the 1990’s. As if nothing will ever change and as though our government/ society will always be able to sustain the weight of the world. It reminds me of this verse in the Bible:

“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark…” Matthew 24:38

In other words, people will be carrying on as usual right up until the time the door of probation shuts. You see, the door of the ark stayed open right until the last minute. Anyone who was listening to the Spirit of God could have joined Noah and his family on the ark of safety. But their hearts were hard – focused on this world and it’s pleasures – instead of focused on the Lord.

The first Six Seals of the Seven Seals of Revelation have already happened. And the Seventh Seal is the return of Jesus! The door of probation {like the door on the ark} will soon close. What does that mean? It means that, as I’ve said before, now is the time to make a real decision to serve God above all else. If you knew Jesus would come back {for sure} in 6 months, what would you change?

This is why I said that first and foremost, you need to prepare your family for eternal life, because:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36

In the days of Noah, the hearts of men were exceedingly wicked. God is Love, but His judgement is coming.

The Bible says, “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.” Daniel 12:1

We are facing troubled times. The state of the world is turmoil and chaos; wickedness and evil abound. Ultimately only God can save us. Nothing I do or you do on our own will save us from Satan’s wrath. He is angry with God’s people and he wants to take you down with him.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV

“They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he’s doing God a favor.” John 16:2 MSG

 I  actually didn’t plan on going into all of that, but I just want to cry out every where I go – “Be prepared! Jesus is coming soon!” Like John the Baptist, I so want all of you to prepare your hearts – be vigilant and ready for His return!

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Mark 1:3

 So with that in mind, with our hearts prepared, we need to also prepare our homes and our families so that we are ready for an emergency, because the Bible also says:

Proverbs 27:12 says, “A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

As moms, we’ve been given the responsibility to care for our families in the best way possible. We don’t know exactly what the future holds. We need to be prepared for what ever may come. We need to be that prudent person who sees the dangers ahead and take precautions.

[Tweet “”The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” Mark 1:3 “]


How to Create a Family Emergency Plan

So, back to what I was saying before. It’s important that we discuss possible scenarios with our families. Here are some examples of things I’ll be talking to my kids about:

When to Call 911

  • Talk about appropriate reasons to call 911.
  • If you have young children, you might even practice dialing the numbers on the phone.
  • 911 printable practice sheet

House Fire.

  • Practice getting out of the house, crawling on the floor, covering the door, what to do if the door knob is hot, etc.
  • Know what to do if you can’t get out of the house.
  • Have a meeting place outside your home where the family will gather.
  • Resources for teaching your children about house fires.

Severe Weather or Natural Disaster.

  • Every area is different – for some, tornadoes are a real threat, for others it’s a hurricane, winter storm, or earthquake. Know your area and what figure out what you need to do in those situations.
  • Practice – especially with younger children – how to handle different situations. Teach them where the best place to go in your home is.
  • Discuss what to do if you are in your car during an weather related or natural disaster.
  • Discuss what to do if you are at home or traveling during a weather related or natural disaster.
  • Make sure you have supplies in your Home Emergency Closet ready to grab or use if needed.
  • Keep your gas tank full. If you need a quick escape in the middle of the night because there is a forest fire headed your way, you don’t want to run out of gasoline.

I remember back in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit and the disaster was incredible. We  live in a small town in Southeastern Kentucky. Do you remember there was an oil and gasoline shortage? I’ll never forget because all of the gas stations in our small town ran out of gasoline and it was upwards of three weeks before trucks came to fill the tanks.

Power Outage/ Grid Down.

  • Discuss with your children about what to do in a situation where the power goes out.
  • If your child is home alone in the event of a power outage or grid down {loss of power, phone service, etc.} what should they do?
  • Remember to immediately fill all the bath tubs, sinks, and other containers with water.

Home Invasion/ Break In.

Thankfully we live in a small town where things like break-ins don’t happen all that often. But what if it did happen?

  • What should your children do if they are at home when someone breaks in?
  • Is there a good place your child can hide?
  • Who is a safe person your child can go to if there is an emergency?

Pandemic/ Quarantine.

Before this week, I probably wouldn’t have included this, but you need to know what to do if your area is quarantined for an extended period.

  • Quarantines are usually announced at the last moment to prevent people from fleeing the area.
  • Ebola can take up to 21 days to incubate. In the event the CDC quarantines your area, you could be stuck in your own home for weeks or months. What would you do? Can you feed your family?
  • How do you protect your family from contracting a deadly disease if it spreads to your area?

Terrorist Attack.

I’ll never forget September 11, 2001. I’m sure you remember exactly what you were doing that day, too. Our family was traveling across the country from Georgia back to our home in Arizona. We’d spent the night in Oklahoma City. That morning as we packed our things to get back on the road, we had CNN on playing in the background so we could catch up on the news before we headed out.

I’ll never forget sitting down in shock on that hotel room bed and watching the second plane fly into the World Trade Center. And then as reports came in that a plane had gone down in Pennsylvania and one had it the Pentagon… no one knew what was happening. It felt like we were under attack. And of course we were, but the attack ended there.

Only, we didn’t know that until later.

We quickly finished packing and gathered the children into the car – feeling panicked inside, wishing we were already home. Our gas tank was basically on empty. We’d planned on filling up that morning.

It seemed like the whole country was panicking. We stopped at a nearby gas station to fill up our tank and we had to wait for hours to get gasoline. The line was down the street. Everyone wanted to fill their tanks. And as we sat there, the price of gasoline began to creep higher and higher – adding to the feeling of crisis.

Of course, all of that was a long time ago. My kids are a lot older now and my youngest who’s now 11 years old wasn’t even born then! We eventually made it home, but we were forever changed.

Terrorism is a real possibility. ISIS is currently threatening out nation and they don’t have any qualms about killing innocent people. And there are so many ways they could very easily cripple our nation.

  • What should your family do if there is a terrorist attack?
  • What do you do if there is a threat in your community?
  • In the event of an EMP attack, nuclear attack, or other type of attack, what should your family members do to stay safe?
  • Keep your gas tanks full. Consider half a tank of gas to be empty.
  • Keep extra fuel in an appropriate container on hand for emergencies.

If the Family is Separated.

My children have laughed at me more than once as I packed easy top canned foods, ramen, and other supplies into their suitcases with instructions as to what to do in the event of an emergency or terrorist attack before they left on a trip without me. Go ahead and laugh. One of these days our nation will face another crisis like September 11, 2001 only this time it might be much worse.

I don’t leave home without a back pack anymore in case I need to get home on foot. In fact, last weekend, as I drove to the women’s retreat 250 miles from my home, we heard the news of the poor woman in Oklahoma who was beheaded. We just never know. Of course, it ended there and I was able to drive home just fine. But you just never know.

  • If phone service is available, know who to contact. Your children should know your home address and phone number, mom and dad’s cell numbers, and an emergency contact’s name, address, and phone number.
  • If your child is traveling without, you should know their itinerary, and explain to them what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency.
  • Have a specified location set where the family will meet if you cannot return home. Be sure everyone knows how to get there from different locations.
  • If you have younger children, who may be away from you, be sure they understand what they are to do until you are able to come and get them.
  • If you cannot meet at your specified location, be sure that family members understand they need to contact the Red Cross {1-800-RED-CROSS} if at all possible and let them know they are safe. Nothing is worse than wondering if a family member is injured or worse in the event of an emergency.
  • If you have a spouse or other family member in the military, discuss how you would handle these situations if they were deployed.

Other Tips.

  • Practice evacuating your home twice a year, including the route you would take on foot or in the car.
  • Create a 72 Hour Emergency Grab and Go Bag for each of your family members.
  • Decide what to do with your pets in the event of an emergency. Explain to children that they are NOT to try and rescue their pet if the house is on fire. Their first priority is to get out of the house.
  • Download the Family Communication Plans from FEMA.
  • Download the Family Commuter Plan from FEMA and make sure you have a Get Home Bag in your vehicle.
  • Identify an emergency contact outside of your community and make sure everyone knows how to contact them.
  • Learn about your community’s warning signals and what do they sound like and what do you do when you hear them?
  • Teach everyone how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Practice emergency drills at least once a year with your children.
  • Check your emergency supplies at least once a year and update contents as needed.
  • Keep a detailed first aid kit, take a CPR class, and teach your children Basic First Aid.
  • I’ll say it again, keep your gas tanks full. Evacuating the area in your car won’t happen if you have an empty tank.

[Tweet “It’s easier to stay calm and stay safe when you know what to do. Be prepared, not scared!”]

The idea here is NOT to create fear in your children. The idea is to prepare your children so they can be confident in any situation. It’s easier to stay calm and stay safe when you know what to do.

How have you prepared your children for a crisis?

How to Create a Family Emergency Plan @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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    1. Regina, you are welcome to share. Just please include the site address: http://www.avirtuouswoman.org and/or the copyright: (c) 2015 Melissa Ringstaff and AVirtuousWoman.org. Thanks!
  1. It is a valube article, very good, here i found, i think it is very useful article too, Survival guides: Twenty-six tips to help you survive during earthquake and after an earthquake https://www.patriotdirect.org/survival-guides-twenty-six-tips-to-help-you-survive-during-earthquake-and-after-an-earthquake/
  2. Talking to your family ahead of time is super important! Especially practicing the plan! We just wrote a blog about prepping your family's cell phones with important info and numbers for emergencies. Check it out! http://weinsteinsecurity.com/blog/

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