We all hope that we never have to use one, but having a home emergency plan is essential, especially given the way 2020 has gone! A home emergency plan will not stop something happening, but what it can do is to help you and your family know how to respond calmly and quickly to anything that happens. Chaos and panic are only going to make any situation ten times worse, so knowing what you al need to do is key to maintaining control. Here, we are going to look at some of the things that you can do to prepare you, your home and your family for an emergency.
Have an evacuation route organised
Everyone, no matter what sort of property they live in, should have a home fire escape plan and evacuation route organized. Get everyone in your household together and make a plan. Take a walk through your house and think about all of the possible escape routes and exits. You may want to consider drawing out a floor plan and clearly mark ways out of the room, including windows and doors. You also make a note of the location of all smoke alarms in the property.
Have a grab bag ready to go
Have a bag put together with essentials and put somewhere that in an emergency, you can easily grab and take. This may be photocopies of important documents, a list of contact phone numbers, spare phone chargers, copies of prescriptions or spare medication, torches and batteries, a warm blanket and some basic first aid resources.
Have important numbers to hand
Write down all the numbers that you may need in an emergency – from next of kin and close family and friends to things like schools, doctors and insurance companies. You may also want to keep the number of a local restoration company so that you can organise any necessary work to be done to make your home safe and habitable again.
Know where you are going to go
If you can’t go back to your home for a while, do you know where you can go? In the case of extreme weather or other issues, your local authority may organize a shelter such as a local school or sports center, but for the longer term, or if it is something specific to your house, you need somewhere to stay. Your insurance company may organize and cover these costs, but otherwise, think about where you may go and how you can get there.
Have regular drills
As we mentioned above, it is something that we all hope we never have to put into practice, but carrying out regular drills, as they do in schools and workplaces means that in the unfortunate event it does happen, you know the protocol. This is especially important when it comes to children – if they have practised the routine before, it can make it a little easier if it ever comes to having to do it for real.