How to help your family

Emergencies often occur with little or no notice. You can protect your family by taking a few simple steps so you are better prepared should an emergency situation arise.

We all know that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors provide a vital warning in our homes but it is also a good idea to make a home emergency plan to keep all the information you may need in an emergency in one place. Make sure it is stored somewhere accessible and if possible also saved to mobile phones or tablets.

A simple home emergency plan details things such as:

  • How to turn the gas, water and electricity off – it may be obvious to you but would the rest of your family know?
  • Emergency contact numbers – have a paper copy as well as storing the numbers on your mobile. Make sure you include a friend or family contact away from your home address that everyone could call to confirm they are safe.
  • Which friends could put you up for the night if your home was damaged?

Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets.

In an emergency, the mobile phone network can be inundated with calls. You will need to have a plan in place to prepare how you will stay in contact with your family. Consider a designated meeting place just outside of the immediate area where you could all agree to meet.

Once you’ve collected this important information discuss it with the family, practice your plan at least once a year and update it according to any issues that arise.

You may also want to enquire about emergency plans at work or in school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.

Also find out about any local community plans which might be in place to help.