The continental U.S. sees its fair share of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, winter weather events, and tornadoes, depending on where you live. On top of that, these days we also have worries over issues like active shooters and social upheaval. How can families be prepared to get through various emergencies safely? The answer is simple: by putting together a family emergency plan and disaster kit using the following steps from MYREDFOLDER®.

Make Sure Your Home and Family Are Protected

It’s always smart to plan for the worst rather than being surprised by the unexpected. Unfortunately, many people fail to plan with a life insurance policy. That can set you and your loved ones up for more pain and stress should the unthinkable happen. This important layer of protection is vital for any family’s disaster or emergency plan.

In addition to protecting yourself and your loved ones, you will also want to make sure you have enough coverage for your home. In many southern locations, for instance, that means knowing whether hurricane-related damage will be protected by your homeowner’s insurance policy, and adding additional coverage if necessary.

Develop a Plan and Practice It with Your Family

If you have never experienced a flood, a hurricane, or any other natural disaster, you should know that they can be pretty stressful. Thinking about your family’s health and safety in the moment is never a good idea, as your judgment can be clouded by stress and anxiety, which is why it’s always smart to plan ahead for disasters. Ready.gov suggests that families review essential emergency and disaster information together and come up with a solid plan that will keep everyone calm and connected. You can even print a copy of your plan and have everyone carry it in their backpacks or wallets.

With kids, you may need to use some extra finesse to avoid fear and trauma. You can ease some of those fears by talking to your kids about what to do in the event of an emergency and using books to help your children better understand.

Know Your Family’s Evacuation Zones and Shelter Options

Oftentimes, government officials will issue evacuation orders to keep citizens out of the path of strong storms and large wildfires. In Florida, for instance, evacuation zones are assigned by proximity to the coast and risk of damage from surge waters, but any area may be evacuated if needed. Knowing your zone can help you better prepare for future hurricanes and allow you to escape to safety in the event of a hurricane warning in your area.

You may even want to prepare your home and leave early. If you will be weathering the storm in-town or if an emergency strikes with little warning, you may need to leave your home and find an emergency shelter. Be aware that many animal shelters do not allow pets, but this tool will help you locate ones that do.

Assemble Emergency Kits for Your Home and Family Members

When disaster strikes, you need to be able to not only get to safety but to also ensure all of your basic needs are met. There are a number of things you need to do to make sure you’re ready for a disaster, from verifying that you’re covered by insurance to preparing a disaster kit. Your emergency kit should include essentials such as flashlights, fresh batteries, a first aid kit, and any medications your family members will need (prescriptions should be filled ahead of a storm so you won’t run out).

Keep a supply of bottled water and non-perishable foods in your pantry at all times since getting to stores may be impossible during an emergency situation. Also, consider assembling some go-bags in case you need to get your family out and to safety quickly. Put smaller versions of the items listed above into a backpack for your family, as well as a few games to keep children calm.

Other ancillary items that could come in handy include a prepaid cell phone, a portable generator, head lamps and even a smartwatch for your children. A smartwatch offers a layer of safety as it can help you keep close tabs on your child’s whereabouts, and it can help your child find help if they become separated from you.

Having an emergency plan in place can help keep your family collected and calm during an emergency. So, prepare your home and family well ahead of time, and talk about this plan together. Your lives and safety could depend on it.

The MYREDFOLDER® concept was developed based on the physical red folders that Military personnel would give to their spouses when they left home to go on assignment.  It contained everything the surviving spouse would need in case they didn’t return home; this included an emergency plan in case disaster struck while they were away. Call (888) 267 9990.

Article by: Natalie Jones

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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