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Family Emergency Plan

Disaster can strike at any moment, therefore you and your family must be prepared for the unthinkable. A family emergency plan is designed to prepare your family in the event of an emergency. Your emergency plan should be roleplayed, reviewed, and family meetings should be held to discuss .

You hear about things happening every day in the news, and the family is left scrambling to figure things out. I know the first thing that runs through my mind is, "what if this happened to my family?" Having an emergency plan in place will direct your family on actions to take when an emergency situation arises.

This guide is the first part of a series of guides relating to emergency family planning. This first part will outline what a family emergency plan is, what constitutes a emergency plan, and why These plans are important.

What is a family emergency plan?

A family emergency plan should detail the actions to take when the unexpected happens to your family. It is a complete outline of who is responsible for what, where to meet if the family is not together, what you need to take, who to contact and how to contact them, and communication guidelines.

Why is a family emergency plan important?

A family emergency plan answers the following questions when a disaster or emergency strikes:

  • What if I am not with my family?
  • How do I know that everyone is safe?
  • Will I be able to reach my loved ones?
  • How will my family and I receive alerts and warnings?
  • What are my family's plans for shelter, evacuating, or communicating?
  • Will my family know what to do in the event something happens to me?

( We recommend a hot lamination machine to laminate your Emergency plan. If you have multiple plans for different scenarios you can either 3 hole punch all the sheets then put them in a 3 ring binder or place them all in a folder. What we also do is make laminated card with vital emergency information. These cards can be distributed to children, family members and neighbor. Always Make multiples of all your list. Laminating them makes them water resistant )

Why you need to have a family emergency plan in place

Why you need to have a family emergency plan in place. As parents, all of these questions run through our minds and we need to make sure that not only are we prepared, but our children know what to do.

Suppose something happens to you while your children are in another room. Do your children know what to do or how to respond? That is the purpose of emergency planning. If there isn't another adult in the house when an emergency arises, your children need to be able to remain calm and react quickly, it could be the difference between life and death. Emergencies can happen at any time, kids could be at school, you could be at work, and you need the family to be ready.

My husband works out of the home all day, while I sit in the home with our 1-year-old son all day. If something happens to me, while my husband is at work I need to have a plan of action. If you are in the same situation, how would you handle it? Do you know what you would do? This is why family emergency planning is so important.

When a family emergency plan should be executed ?

So, how do you know when a family emergency plan should be executed? What is deemed a family emergency? A family emergency is not something that you plan will happen, it is something that suddenly happens to your family which affects their well-being, that you prepare for. Here are a few examples of what types of emergency situations your family could face:

  • Car accident
  • Illness
  • Catastrophic weather event
  • Loss of someone in the family
  • House fire
  • An adult is injured while children are in the home

Communication in a family emergency

Communication during a family emergency is a vital part of the emergency. It is important to know what forms of communication will be available during the family emergency and how you will communicate. It is important because the communication of an emergency family plan will dictate what to do if your family is separated, at home or if the family is together in different places.

Child's role vs. an adult's role in a family emergency

Each member of the family must have a role. This encourages everyone to work as a team and reduces the stress and burden for everyone in the family. With that being said, children's roles will differ from adult roles in a family emergency plan, and each family member's role is based on their age and development at the time.

Here are some reasons why the roles would differ:

  • Children look to adults to help them during emergencies.
  • Children don't understand how to keep safe during emergencies.
  • Your child may have an underlying disability or health condition that needs to be attended to during an emergency
  • The stress of the emergency situation can be harder mentally on a child
  • Disasters can affect children differently than adults because of their physical and psychological differences.

Role-playing a family emergency plan

Role-playing is an important factor when you have an emergency family plan. You need to make sure that everyone is capable of their role in the plan, and make adjustments to the plan if necessary. Family meetings should be held every 3-6 months, where you role-play the emergency plan. You should also role-play whenever there are changes in the household, such as a child going away to college, or moving back home from college.

Wrap-up & conclusion

Expect the unexpected, plan for the worst, hope for the best, are everyday cliches that can explain the need for an Family Emergency Plan. You always want to make sure that the family is ready to handle any type of situation. It could be as simple as knowing how to dial 911 or what to say when dialing 911.

Family emergency preparedness plans are important not only because you are ready for different emergency situations, but because you can familiarize your children with different types of emergencies and how to handle the situations.

The purpose of the guide is to instill the importance of emergency planning as well as explain what emergency planning is. There are so many types of situations and scenarios that may arise and everyone in the family should know what to do, where to go, who to call, and what tools to use.

Remember, things that you hear about in the news, could happen to you.

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