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For Tina and her family, floods were not really a big deal … nor unusual. They haven’t experienced any flooding since the mid-1990s, and that time, the waters inside their one-story modest house were only knee-deep. So when they knew a big storm was hitting the area that particular Saturday in 2008, they didn’t think much of it. Not even when they heard other towns were already submerged in water. Even if worse came to worst, they thought it would be somewhat similar to what they have already experienced. But just after lunch, the waters came rushing in, without much of a warning. The waters forced their way into Tina’s house, and within just a few minutes, the house was filled with dark, murky waters, from the floor up to the ceiling.
Thankfully, Tina and her family were able to go up the attic of their house and save themselves. It took days for the waters to subside, destroying practically every material thing they worked hard for. The house was badly damaged; all the furniture, the cabinets, the appliances, and devices had to be either repaired or replaced. Worse, their house wasn’t insured for flood damage, or for any natural calamity for that matter. It was devastating; Tina and her family practically had to start from scratch all over again. Nevertheless, the situation proved to be an eye-opener for Tina and her family. They weren’t ready for such emergencies.
Emergencies could happen at any time, often, without warning, and when they hit you, you would not want to be empty-handed, as Tina and her family had been. True, you could apply for personal loans online for emergency situations or secure one from your workplace, just to help you get your life back again, but it always pays to have a family emergency plan because one could significantly reduce the impact on the family and make it a lot less stressful for everyone.
So how do you create a family emergency plan? Here are some steps to keep in mind:
Step 1: Have a healthy and realistic discussion of the different forms of emergencies.
A family emergency plan should begin with a realistic discussion of the different forms of emergencies. Worth noting, emergencies aren’t limited to catastrophic weather events, like typhoons, floods, tsunamis, and so on. Some forms of emergencies such as earthquakes, fires, illnesses, and loss of income are not weather-related at all, but they are called as such because of the presence of immediate risk, whether to property, to life, or to one’s way of living. Thus, it is important to be prepared for these as well.
Step 2: Identify those emergencies you are most likely to be at risk for.
The family should gather around and identify those emergencies they are most likely to be at risk for based on previous experiences and current situations. Is your family living in a low-lying area where flooding or flash floods are likely? Or is your house located in a densely-populated area which puts you and your family in danger when sparks from the neighbor’s kitchen fly? And what has been your family’s health history? Are you at risk for debilitating or chronic illnesses, or God forbid, untimely deaths? All these things and more should be carefully considered as any one of these could leave you with almost nothing when you’re unprepared.
Step 3: Be on alert. Be on top of things.
Make sure to keep yourself informed of disasters that are likely to hit your area, and never take the information for granted. Be ready always with contact information of your local emergency response teams.
Step 4: Draw out a communication plan.
Disasters could happen when you least expect them. Sadly, sometimes they happen when the family is not together. This makes it all the more important for every member of the family to have the contact numbers of each other. Also just as important is to make sure that everyone has sufficient load balance to make emergency calls or text messages.
Step 5: Be ready with an emergency kit.
Every member of the family must have an emergency kit on hand. Basically, the kit should contain water, food, batteries, flashlight, radio, first-aid kit, whistle, dust mask, towelette, wet wipes, and food, to last for at least three days.
Step 6: Ensure your property, yourself, and your family.
There are more insurance products today than ever before. Take advantage of these to protect yourself and help you deal with financial losses brought about by emergency situations.
Your family emergency plan must not be taken lightly and should be updated from time to time. Make it a habit to discuss this with your family, and conduct drills as often as necessary to find out which part of your emergency plan needs to be changed, reworked or updated.
An emergency situation could seem like the end of the world, but when you have the presence of mind to implement your emergency plan, everything would likely turn out well.