|Talk with your family this weekend and figure out plans|
for various situations.
Not every event is a major catastrophe, but you should still plan
Back on 9/11, I wrote about Family Communications Plans. These plans were focused on major events and reaching distant family and friends - not the immediate, local family.
But recently I was reminded by a neighbor with younger children that events happen every day that are not real emergencies, but would be much less stressful if a plan was thought out first.
Events such as:
- Child arriving home to an empty, locked house
- Do they have a key?
- Can they stay in the backyard?
- If it's winter, which neighbor should they go to?
- Child lost in a mall
- Who should they ask for help?
- Do they know your cell #?
- Child left at school
- During normal hours, there are always administrators with family contact info, but what about after hours: sports, drama club, band?
- How can your child call you? Do they have their own phone or can they borrow a friend's?
- Should they go home with a neighbor?
- Child hurt outside
- If there are no adults present, what will they do?
- How will your child get help or help the other injured person?
- Fire at home
- This is a real emergency that must be planned for.
- When was the last time you held an actual fire drill at home?
- Does every room have 2 ways to get out?
- What if an adult is not home? Do your children know what to do? Where to go?
These are just a few events to think about and plan for. Each family and home is different, so every family's planning process will be different. The important thing is to regularly talk about possible events and how you and your family would deal with each one.
There are many excellent family emergency plans out on the web. I've linked to a few below:
- Ready.gov's Family Emergency Plan Site - has links to an excellent Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF) with forms for phone numbers, meeting spots and fire drills.
- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's Make a Plan Site - contains checklists and links to a great Family Emergency Plan (PDF) with info lists and contact cards for the whole family.