The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn’t end until Nov. 30, so it’s important to be sure you have a family disaster plan.
Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, has shared some pointers aimed at helping families be prepared, if disaster should strike.
“Involving each member of your family in the process of developing or updating your family disaster plan is crucial to making sure everyone’s needs are met during a disaster,” Guthrie said, in a news release. “You may not always be together when a disaster strikes, so by planning in advance and as a unit, you can ensure the safety of your family.”
Here are some simple steps, shared by Guthrie, that will help your family account for the needs of each family member, including household pets and livestock.
Step 1: Discuss these four questions with your household, family, or friends to start your plan:
How will we receive emergency alerts and warnings?
What is our shelter plan?
What is our evacuation route?
What is our family/household communication plan?
Step 2: Put together a disaster supply kit, including food, water, sanitary supplies and other items for basic needs. In addition to that, your plan should be tailored to the specific daily needs of your family. Part of the planning process should include discussing how you will continue daily tasks including communication with loved ones, care for children, businesses, and pets, or specific medical needs such as the operation of durable medical equipment.
Step 3: Write the emergency plan down and ensure everyone in your household has a copy. You can go to Ready.gov to find a Make a Plan form.
Step 4: Practice your plan with your entire household, including young children. Children who are prepared often experience less anxiety and feel more confident during actual emergencies and disasters. In addition, going over scenarios for how the plan may change is a vital step in being properly prepared.
Visit FloridaDisaster.org/family-plan/ for more preparedness tips and resources.
For weather updates and safety tips, follow the Florida Division of Emergency Management on social media channels.
Published October 11, 2023