March is time for Family Disaster Planning!Thank you to everyone that has completed the Stake survey. We are learning how to better help you through what you shared with us. We are still collecting survey responses and want to hear from you! Please take the short survey here:Self Reliance survey
This month's topic is Long Term Food Storage and Family Emergency and Disaster Plans. From the survey, we see that the families in our stake have an average of 6 months of food stored. That's a great start on long term food storage! But only 14% of you say that you have a written Family Disaster Plan. So that is the goal this month - a written plan!
Why talk about a Family Disaster Plan?(info adapted from Disastercenter.com)
- Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services, such as water, gas, electricity, or telephones were cut off? Local officials and relief workers won't be on the scene for sometimes weeks after a disaster, so you need to have a plan to find, protect and care for your family.
- Families can and do cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.
How do you create a Family Disaster Plan?
- Find out what could happen to you. By learning what your risks may be, you can prepare for the disaster most likely to occur in your area. Find out what plans are in place for your workplace, your children's school or other places your family may be.
- Create a Family Disaster Plan. Once you know what disasters are possible in your area, talk about how to prepare and how to respond if one occurs.
- Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together.
- Pick two places to meet:Right outside of your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire and outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number of the meeting locations.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during floods or other disasters, have a plan for getting back together.
- Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be your "family contact." Your contact should live outside of your area. After a disaster, it is often easier to make a long distance call than a local call.
- Be familiar with escape routes. Depending on the type of disaster, it may be necessary to evacuate your home.
3. Complete your checklists. Take the steps outlined in the checklists you made when you created your Family Disaster Plan.
- Post the emergency telephone numbers (fire, police, ambulance, etc.)
- Teach all responsible family members how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches or valves
- Make two photocopies of vital documents and keep the originals in a safe deposit box. Keep one copy in a safe place in the house, and give the second copy to an out-of-town friend or relative.
- Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do, meeting places, phone numbers, and safety rules.
- Replace stored food and water every six months.
- Use the test button to test your smoke alarms once a month.
- Look at your fire extinguisher to ensure it is properly charged.
And here's another from FEMA FEMA Disaster Plan
And last but not least, keep working on that long term food storage. Here is the video from last year if you missed it. Happy preparing!