The first step to creating a family disaster plan is to hold a family meeting to discuss the dangers of hurricanes and other emergencies, such as fires and other severe weather.
For hurricanes, families should openly discuss sheltering options. If a hurricane sets its sights on Central Florida, it is important Lake County residents know where they plan to shelter for the duration of the storm. Because of the destructive power and torrential rainfall of a hurricane, residents in a manufactured home or low-lying area should never ignore an evacuation order.
Lake County shelters are storm-hardened facilities. Evacuating residents should think twice about staying in “shelters” that are not designated by the American Red Cross and Emergency Management. Another option besides evacuating to a Lake County designated shelter is finding shelter with a friend or relative in a site-built home. While Lake County’s shelters are high on safety, residents may tend to find the comfort level more accommodating in a site-built home of a friend or relative.
A well-thought-out plan of action for you and your family can go a long way toward reducing potential suffering from any type of disaster that could strike. Household emergency plans should be kept simple. The best emergency plans are those that are easy to remember. Some other tips to include in a family disaster plan include:
- Teach responsible family members how to turn off the utilities in the home.
- Discuss what to do during power outages.
- Be familiar with escape routes in case you need to evacuate your neighborhood. Plan several escape routes for different contingencies.
- Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
- Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
- Select two calling points, possibly a friend or relative, where family members can check in to, in case they are separated from the rest of the family.
- Learn and post emergency phone numbers and information.
- Take a basic first aid and CPR class.
Play the Hurricane Preparedness Boardgame to help you and your family prepare for a hurricane or browse the Developing a Family Disaster Plan brochure.