Is Your Family Safe? 5 Critical Elements of Family Safety
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “we tend to study geology the morning after an earthquake.” With family safety, we cannot afford to something only after an emergency has happened. Then, it will be too late.
Readiness has to precede an emergency. To be a safe family, it is critical to have a basic understanding of what to do in an emergency. This takes 5 critical elements you must strive to accomplish in your family.
Make a Plan
A family safety plan is a simple statement of what to do (plan) during an emergency. The plan ideally, should reflect what could go wrong, who should do what and how it should be done by family members. If for example you share you apartment with someone who is very ill of pneumonia, your plan should identify what action steps should be taken in the event of an prolonged interruption of electrical power. The plan does not need to be complex, it needs to be customized to your needs. Identify problems and solutions. Another vital question is where will you keep your pet, if the public shelters do not accept your pet?
Get a Kit
Another key element of your family preparedness is a safety kit. Such a kit contains basic items that can be used in times of an emergency like a scissors, next of kin, water and disinfectant. This evening, I had to help a senior citizen suffered bleeding on his knee. Thanks to the availability of a first aid kit, I was able to bring the situation under control without being worried of my own safety. Without the kit, I would not have had disposable gloves or band aid to arrest the bleed. Before buying a kit insist on knowing the contents and how to use them. One vital question you may ask yourself is this: how will I light up our living room if there is no more candle in the stores.
It is not enough to have a first aid kit or a safety kit. It takes knowledge and awareness to know how to deal with a particular situation. Based on the threats in your area, enroll yourself for a seminar to know what to do in an emergency like an earthquake, extinguishing a fire or providing help to a family member who chokes a mackerel fish bone. Remember that the basic skills you have may make a difference in the life your loved one. An ideal way to learn new skills is to attend American Red Cross classes or other free classes provided by city or county. A possible hypothetical skill question is this: does my youngest child know what to do prior to the arrival of first responders when I suffer a cardiac arrest?
Test your Plan
If you take preparedness seriously, I challenge you to test your plan once in a year. You can make it fun and enjoyable. The goal of testing your plan is not find fault but to address issues that affect family safety. By this I mean, for example you can try to see if you have the contact numbers of your next of kin without the possibility of turning on your cell phone or computer. Alternatively, you can also test to see if everyone in the house understands the procedures of taking cover during an earthquake. Perhaps, an intriguing question you can test this: does my child have an mobile and office numbers if I am unreachable during an accident?
Update your Plan
Every year, your plan needs updating. Whatever you have learned in the course of the year, assign someone to hold everyone accountable to being up to date. For instance get someone to ensure everyone has a contact names in case of emergency (ICE) on their phone. By getting little elements of things learned, or just posting all key hotlines on the fridge and preparing wallet size copies for everyone, can make a big difference. Without doubt, the mindset to be prepared can come in handy at a moment when you least expected. An important question that can enhance your preparedness is this: do I have my child ‘s blood group and soccer coach ‘s number should there be a problem during the course of their travel out of town for a game?