It’s almost impossible to predict when a crisis may occur, but there are a few basic measures you can take to be prepared for unexpected weather or life events and emergencies. After this last year’s snowpocalypse and all the rains we have been having it seems even more important to be prepared. The heat is on the rise too as we are just now entering the summer. There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and your fur babies.
Something to note, more than 80% of Americans live in countries that have experienced a weather-related disaster. However, only 39% of Americans have actually created an emergency plan for their household. While I understand, it is almost impossible to plan for a natural disaster or a disaster of any kind, but we can be prepared when and if it does. We can’t control so many things in our life, disasters being one of them, let’s plan for the things we can control.
In the middle of a chaotic and scary emergency situation have a plan of where to meet your family to reduce the stress of being able to reach them to see if everyone is ok. Choose 3 different locations — one in the neighborhood, one in town, and one out of town. When choosing these locations also make sure everyone has a planned out way to get to all of these locations. The safe location may, of course, depend on the emergency. For Example, in the event of a hurricane and you have decided to evacuate, make sure everyone is aware of where the evacuation location will be. Or in our case, here in parts of Texas, the possibility of a tornado could cause you to plan where you should meet should you hear sirens.
Make a Plan
Make a plan that outlines all the information you’ll need to know in the event of an emergency. Not only will it help you get to a safe location, but it’ll also allow you to let your loved ones know you’re safe.
- Create a spreadsheet that includes:
- Names and nicknames of each family member
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Names of doctors
- Places of work
- Plan a safe evacuation route if you’re home when an emergency occurs, you may have to evacuate with little to no notice. Select several safe evacuation routes, and make sure everyone is familiar with them.
- Assign roles. Have someone turn off the utilities, like water and electricity, while another person packs the important documents and another grabs your fur babies. Giving everyone a responsibility will ensure nothing important is left behind.
Collect Important Documents
Organize important documents in one place — such as an accordion folder or fireproof safe — so you can easily grab them in case of an emergency. Sort them into categories: personal documents, financial, home, insurance, taxes, health/medical, and employment. Also, keep any flash drives, removable hard drives, or other storage media in the same location.
Now that you have a plan, be sure to review and practice it with your family regularly. The more familiar you are with your plan, the more prepared you’ll be in the event of an emergency. And, the more prepared you are, the safer you’ll be.
Know what to do when disaster strikes! Sign up for text alerts from your local emergency services to receive warnings and other up-to-date hazard information. Also, download weather apps to your smartphone to stay on top of dangerous weather-related activities.
REMEMBER YOUR PETS!!!!!
They are just as scared as you are in the event of an emergency. Our fur babies are family too so we want to make sure we are just as prepared to keep them as safe as we are ourselves and our human family members. Be sure to include them in your emergency preparation and evacuation plans as well. You can visit ASPCA.org to get a free Pet Safety Pack, that includes a window sticker to let rescue workers know if your pet is inside or if has been evacuated.
Your Pet’s Emergency Kit
- 3-7 days worth of food and water
- Documents, such as copies of the pet’s medical records and current photos, just in case you’re separated.
- Sanitary items, such as garbage bags, litter, and disposable trays for cats and cage liners for dogs
- Miscellaneous pet items, such as extra harnesses, collars, leashes and travel carrier, and a blanket.
**Information provided by Buffini & Company