If things go wrong in any situation, you ought to have a plan in place. In the moment, things are going to be pretty hectic, so make your emergency plan ahead of time and plan drills so everyone knows just what to do. When making this plan, you’ll want to know the first things to do in case something goes wrong, and we have what you need to make your list and check it twice. In the event of a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other disastrous event, the first things you do are:
• Collect your information – The very first thing on your list should be collecting information, and assessing the situation as well as its safety. Check on and with neighbors, use your senses to determine the current state of your environment, and stay vigilant regarding everything that is going on around you. By collecting information, you’ll be able to see what your next step should be and what you may be up against.
• Gather gear and resources – If you’re able to stay in your home or the structure you’re currently in, begin to gather your gear and resources so you know where everything is and that you have what you need. If you’re in the home, fill the bathtubs and sinks with fresh water before losing water pressure, and if you need to leave the home, make sure your bags are pre-packed to include all of your food, water, and tools to survive until you arrive at your next destination.
• Figure out your communications – With family members, a non-electronic communication method should be settled upon, just in case members are separated and need to leave clues or get in contact with each other. Leaving messages on road signs, trees, or structures, may be helpful, or setting up 2 or 3 rallying points that it’s understood that you’ll go to if separated.
With your information collected regarding the status of your situation, your gear and resources gathered, and communication methods put into place, you’ve set yourself a great foundation you can work with in a disaster situation. Having drills and practice sessions to emphasize all 3 of these steps is a great way to really hammer home the importance of your plan to your family, and something that is highly recommended to ensure all goes smoothly while under the copious stress a disaster brings.