In the last article, we discussed the importance of establishing an Emergency Response Plan, building an Emergency Response Kit, and drilling or testing your Plan. In this article, we'll focus on how to recognize potential threats and building a response plan accordingly.
What are the events or series of events that will most likely affect you or your family in a crisis situation? This could include weather incidents, pandemic events, or loss of everyday comforts such as electricity and water. So think about which event, or events, you would most likely need to prepare for and create your Emergency Response Plan accordingly.
Your Emergency Response Plan is a "living" document—meaning your Plan should be ever changing and never "set in stone." Your Plan should be simple at first so that everyone in your family who will be using it can understand its objective. Emergency plans can cover many different threats and should be easily adapted for use in the event at hand.
Your Emergency Response Plan can be as simple as establishing a set meeting place for you and your family if separated, or as complex as establishing response tasks for each person to complete and report on. Most people are familiar with escape plans for house fires, so develop your Emergency Response Plan around that concept and adjust it to work best for you and your family.
"The very best made plan is worthless in the heat of the moment if it hasn't been tested or drilled to find out if it actually works and how it can be improved."
- LaMonte Mears, NREMT-P, Houston Healthcare Emergency Medical Services
The most important part of building an Emergency Response Plan is practicing it and practicing it often! Updates and options are always needed to keep the Plan doable. Examples would be updating the contact list and personal information as people move and phone numbers change.
Establish threats that are unique to you and your family.
Build a Plan and practice it to make sure it is doable.
Do not keep the Plan a secret! The entire family needs to have a working knowledge of the Plan and their role during its activation!