Creating an Emergency Communication Plan
Emergencies can happen at any moment, no matter where you are or who you’re with. Storms, floods, fires, and other disasters often happen without warning and create a dire situation that forces you to evacuate. It’s easy to feel panicked when such an occurrence arises, but with an emergency plan in place, you can feel more at ease with handling an emergency. This is especially helpful when you have a family.
When an emergency occurs, you’ll want to be able to contact your loved ones and ensure that they are safe in case you end up apart from them in the aftermath. Knowing this, it’s important to develop an emergency communication plan. This communication plan will ensure that you and your family know how to get in contact and where to meet up in the case of an emergency.
When creating an emergency communication plan, use the following information as a guide on what to include in it. Consult with a water and fire damage restoration company in the aftermath of an emergency, to mitigate losses to your property.
Create a Contact List
The contact list should include contact information for all of your family members, including their cell phone numbers and email addresses. You should also include contact information for your doctors, local hospital and medical facilities, your insurance company, and local schools.
It’s important to also have an out-of-area emergency contact in case it’s difficult to make local calls. If you cannot reach your family, this out-of-area emergency contact can be the point person who reaches out to all members of your family and gives them updates. Once you’ve chosen this contact, inform the person and include them on the contact list.
Text messages are the recommended way to communicate during a disaster, because text messages are more likely to go through than calls. Phone lines get busy during emergencies, making it more difficult to reach people this way. Additionally, by communicating via text message, phone lines are left open for emergency responders.
If you have social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter, post updates there and use it to inform and contact your family, too.
Decide on Meeting Places
If you’re separated from your family during an emergency, it’s helpful to have an emergency meeting place to meet up at ― especially if you are unable to contact them. Even if you can’t reach them, they should know to head to the emergency meeting place. However, you need to come up with multiple meeting places in case some of them are off-limits because they are affected by the emergency.
Your home is an obvious choice for a meeting place but choose other local places as backups. You should also designate a non-local meeting place outside of your city or state in case the emergency affects a large area.
When you’ve decided on all the meeting places, create a list with addresses for all of them. Make sure you also choose which meeting places to use for certain scenarios so that members of your family don’t all end up going to different meeting places.
Distribute and Review Plans
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary contact information and chosen meeting places, compile it all into an emergency communication plan. Print out paper copies of it and distribute it to the members of your family. Go over the plans to ensure that everyone knows what to do when an emergency arises. Even conducting a full-scale practice can be very helpful.
In addition to handing out physical copies of the communication plan to every family member, include another copy in your family’s emergency kit. Back up the plan online, too, and have electronic copies of it stored on a hard drive or USB flash drive. You and your family can also pull up electronic versions of the emergency plan on your cell phones if you cannot access a computer or laptop.
When major emergencies occur, like a fire, flood or storm, you may feel panicked, but having an emergency communication plan in place can help ease that feeling. If your property is the site of a fire, use your emergency communication plan to track down family members who you aren’t with to ensure their safety. Once you ensure that your family is safe, you can focus your attention on restoring your property.
It’s essential to get help from professional restoration services immediately if your home has been damaged by a fire or other major disaster. Call a professional that provides fire damage restoration services as soon as possible to get your property cleaned up and restored. Aside from a fire’s flames, smoke and soot can cause a great deal of damage that continues even after the fire has been extinguished. The longer the damage isn’t addressed, the more it will spread and jeopardize your property and belongings.