Thursday, June 23, 2016
This week in our area we have had some severe weather and more is predicted. We were lucky and the last batch of storms missed us, but friends a few towns over are still waiting for power to be restored 2 days later. I am writing this on a day they are forecasting some pretty terrible weather for our area even though I won't be posting it until another day. You see I am trying to be prepared. We lose Internet easily and with what the weatherman is predicting, it could totally happen that I have no way to post. This along with all the warnings from the weatherman about the possibility of severe weather got me thinking about how prepared my family is. It reminded me that I needed to review our weather emergency and fire emergency plans with my kids and the little girl I babysit for. My kids are old enough to understand why we have a plan and why we need to be prepared without it scaring them. We live where storms happen regularly and it is best to have a plan of action before storms arrive so that my kids know what to do when I say "GO!" Here is our plan for 2 different situations.
Severe Weather Plan (Tornadoes and Severe Thunderstorms)
1. Leave shoes and socks near the basement door - We have carpet downstairs but under that it is concrete and lightning can travel through concrete. It is always a good idea to have shoes to put on when we head down to the basement during a storm.
2. When Mom or Dad Says GO You GO no matter what - My kids know that during a storm if we say GO, they head directly to the basement without questions. Once downstairs and safe, they will ask if they need to get in the safe spot.
3. Have a "Safe Spot" - This is what we call our spot that we go if we would have a tornado. It is our spot where we take cover and wait it out. Our kids know this spot and they know that they don't come out of it until they are told it is okay unless there would be a fire emergency.
4. Keep Emergency Supplies Nearby - We have a storage pantry in our basement so we have food and water down there. We also keep candles, flashlights, and other emergency items downstairs just in case.
5. Practice Your Plan - We have practiced our plan so our kids know what to do. We usually practice this at least once a year. Unfortunately we have had to use our plan, but fortunately we have never had a tornado touch down at our house.
Fire Emergency Plan
1. Get Low! - My kids have been taught to get low because smoke rises.
2. Find the Nearest Exit - The kids are old enough to be able to open the doors and windows. They know how to get the screen out of the window if that is the way they have to go out. We have had them both practice this.
3. Leave Everything! - We have told them multiple times not to stop to grab anything, just get out.
4. Head to Our Meeting Place and Stay There - Our meeting place is our apple tree. It is a safe distance from the road and a central location where emergency personnel could find us.
5. Practice Your Plan - We do have fire drills. The family needs to know what to do when an emergency happens. We have had our kids practice climbing out the windows (don't worry we do not have a second story) so they know what it feels like. We've practiced it during the day and at night. Fortunately we have only ever had to practice, but I want to make sure we are prepared.
Do you have an emergency plan? Do you practice them? If you don't have plans in place, please take the time to create one and share it with your family today. Don't wait until an emergency happens to get a plan.