Are you prepared for an emergency? When an emergency strikes, will you and your family know how to respond? What if you are at work or on the road? Having an emergency plan helps you know how to be safer and respond quickly in dire circumstances. You don’t have to be a doomsday prepper to make sure you and your family are ready no matter where you are during an emergency.
Only 39 percent of surveyed individuals had developed and communicated an emergency plan according to a 2015 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) survey.
This survey also found that 60 percent of American adults haven’t practiced what to do in an emergency. Incorporating emergency preparedness into your life will ensure that you’re ready to meet whatever comes your way.
Know your risk for a natural disaster
“There’s really no safe place from natural hazards. Every place has some kind of exposure,” said Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute at the University of South Carolina, in an article for Popular Science.
Your preparedness depends on what kind of emergency you are likely to face. You probably know whether you are at risk from a hurricane or tornado, but doing some research about when the last time the area of your home or work was struck can help you see the urgency you’re facing. Other natural disasters that might be common in your area include flooding, high winds, thunderstorms, wildfires, heat waves, volcanos and earthquakes. Identifying the threats that you may be facing can help you be prepared.
Get notifications of emergency events.
To put any plan into motion, you have to be aware of an emergency happening. Sometimes even when a tornado, fire, or hurricane is heading your way, you might not know right away, especially if you’re not checking the news frequently. With modern technology, you can sign up for notifications on your smartphone to help you stay alert if you’re at risk. Some alerts come automatically through your cellular provider but downloading a specific app can help you have peace of mind that you’ll be alerted for specific kinds of events.
You can also get notifications and access to look into what’s going on at home with smart home security and video security. Whether someone is at home or not, you can get some insight on the situation at your home which can add some peace of mind during an emergency.
Take First Aid training.
First aid training will help you know how to react if someone is hurt. According to the National Safety Council (NSC):
“25% of all emergency room visits can be avoided with basic first aid and CPR certification.”
When looking for a local first aid and CPR class, not all classes are as credible as others. Below are some sound options so you can choose one that works for your lifestyle. Your workplace or local organizations in your area might offer classes through one of these providers.
- The American Heart Association is well known for its CPR and First Aid certification classes and you can often find one nearby or sign up for eLearning.
- The Red Cross also offers courses in person and online, although online learning doesn’t always satisfy requirements if you need certification for another application like a workplace safety certification.
- The National Safety Council also offers online classes but you’ll have to find a local chapter to take an in-person test to receive an official course completion card.
First aid classes often have an associated cost, but it is well worth it if you can potentially avoid the emergency room or prevent death in an emergency.
Don’t forget, you can send a panic alert from your home security control panel if a medical emergency happens in your home. This will help ensure that medical help is on its way to assist you in circumstances that exceed your first aid training.
Make an emergency response plan
Once you know what sort of emergencies you’re prone to, you can develop a plan for yourself and your family. It’s essential that this planning is a family event so that everyone knows the plan and can implement it if necessary – even under the natural stress of an emergency. Here are some scenarios to address in your emergency response plan:
- What to do if an emergency happens at home
- What to do if an emergency happens at work or school
- What to do if the family is separated
- What to do in different types of emergencies
- What to do if power or cellular services are down
- How does your home security system play into the plan?
Other information that you should gather:
- Contact information for everyone in the family, including workplaces, schools and childcare
- Contact information for a designated out-of-town central contact
- Emergency meeting places and when to use them
Fema.gov has a great template to help you compile all this information and get your family involved in the process. Once you have a plan you should review it and practice it at least once a year.
If you have questions about how you can incorporate your home security system into your emergency response plan, contact Guardian to speak to a representative today.