Making a plan BEFORE a disaster is extremely important, because once it’s upon us, it’s too late to plan! Your plan should have at least three parts to them, including:
- What we should do to prepare for a disaster (learn how to make a kit here)
- What we should do during the disaster
- What we should do after the disaster (learn how to make emergency contact cards here)
The part I think people often over look is that final step, the plan for after the disaster.
Assuming that everyone knows where to meet and how to get in touch with one another after a disaster can cause a lot of confusion and worry, which is why we suggest everyone discuss those plans now.
Your household and family should have a plan that includes:
- An outdoor meeting place- in case you need to quickly evacuate your home because of a fire or other emergency (I.e. a trusted neighbor’s home, a tree or mailbox across the street, make sure that it is NOT near a fire hydrant)
- Should be a trusted neighbor's home, or a landmark near your home such as a mailbox or tree
- Be sure to talk to your children and family about who in the neighborhood you are comfortable with them going to in case of an emergency
- Having this place will allow you to definitively tell first responders whether there is someone that is still in the house.
- An out of the neighborhood meeting place- in case your block/neighborhood is closed, your household should have a place that they go to (I.e. a school or a relative's home)
- An out of state contact number- Often time local lines get tied up during a disaster. Be sure that everyone in the household/family knows who they are supposed to be getting in contact with out of the state so that messages can be relayed.
- A plan to list yourself Safe and Well- This is a great tool that families can take advantage of, but if you’re planning on using it, be sure that everyone in your family knows to look for you listed there.
To learn more about what a hurricane is, how they are classified, and how to prepare for one, click here!
American Red Cross disaster preparedness starts long before a hurricane makes landfall, beginning with keeping supplies and equipment on stand-by all year to help people in need. On average, the Red Cross spends about $450 million on disaster relief every year. If someone would like to support Red Cross disaster efforts, they can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or sending contributions to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.