Though over in the UK, natural disasters are not as commonplace as they are in some parts of the world, there are still precautions that we need to take. Being prepared for an emergency is so important, especially when you have children to care for and think about too. Many of us don’t have any plans in place, though. What would happen if there was a fire in the middle of the night in your home? Would you know what to do and what things you would be able to just grab and take with you? As when something has happened, there is no time for planning. All you will be doing is making sure that you can cope. But the more prepared you are, the easier it will be. Here are some things that you could start doing, to get your family and home ready for anything.
Make a Plan
If you don’t already have an action plan in place for emergencies, then literally sit down with your family and make one. You could even act it out if you have younger ones in the home. Back to the example of a fire, for instance. Could you all show how you would crawl along the floor to the nearest door? If it is at night, talk about windows that might be used as an escape route and the plan to throw out bedding and mattresses to land on. Then if the worst does happen (and hopefully, it won’t), you are all ready and know what to do. When some panic is eliminated in a situation, it can help a lot.
Prepare Emergency Contacts
One great way to prepare for an emergency is to have a folder or booklet filled with important documents (or copies), as well as important phone numbers. I say use a folder or notebook as it can be something that is easy to grab and take with you if needed. I know we do all have smartphones these days. But they are subject to having electricity and an internet connection in most cases. So it might seem a bit old school, but a folder is a great idea. Then you don’t have to worry about calling your energy provider in a power cut, or looking for something like the British Gas telephone number if there is a gas leak. Other important numbers to have are your doctors, family members, and things like the school or nursery number if that is relevant. Insurance document details are always a good idea too. Then you can contact a lot of the people that you would need to get in touch with.
Prepare Your Home
There are several small things that you can do to get your home prepared for an emergency. So I’ve put together a quick little checklist that you could go through. Then you won’t be running around like a headless chicken if anything did happen.
- Know where to shut off your water, gas, and electricity. Locate it and maybe even leave yourself a note as to what way the lever turns. We can all panic in emergencies and forget everything!
- Put a torch near your switch box. Then if the power goes out, you can have a way of easily checking what you should be doing.
- Get lots of candles and matches and store them somewhere cool and dry. You’ll always be able to live by candlelight if you have power that goes out for a while. Works to keep you warm too.
- Secure items at home. If something disastrous like an earthquake hit, would there be furniture that could easily fall on top of you? When you’ve got kids, most things should be secured to the wall anyway. So make a point of doing that soon if they aren’t already.
- Test your smoke alarms. It won’t be able to keep you safe if it isn’t working. If you don’t have any, then make sure you get some. One on each floor of the house is a good idea.
Prepare Your Children
Our kids can be so resilient when things bad happen. So if they are the right age, it is a good idea to prepare them to be able to help. I’ve already mentioned having a plan in place, which is a great idea. But now you need to think of other ways that we can get our children prepared. Do they know to call 999 in an emergency? Do they know your neighbours and that they could run round to them to get help if someone has collapsed in the home? Little things like this can be great for our children to know. But obviously, just think about what is age appropriate for your children to do.
Get Food Storage
If something happens that means you can’t get out to the shops for a while, would you be able to feed your family? Food storage is a great thing to do. and it is pretty simple too. You could store up bottled water, dried and tinned goods, as well as sauces and packets of food. It can also be useful to have in if you lost your job and needed to survive on food storage to eat, so you don’t spend too much money that you don’t have. If you don’t have anything like this already, then it is a good idea to make a start now. Just buy one or two extra things a week, and you’ll be able to slowly build up a store of food.
Do you have a first aid kit in the home? If you do, do you know where it is to just grab it? This is so important for a variety of situations. If you use things, then make sure they get replaced. It is also a good idea to have things like paracetamol, ibuprofen, and a kid’s version like calpol in there too. Then they whole family can use the kit for any medical need.