Is your family prepared: Tips for making the most of National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month and here at LightCam we want to help you be ready for anything! While no one wants to imagine the worst, preparing for it now will save you time and unnecessary discomfort later. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your preparedness plan!
Before we get into specific scenarios you should be prepared for, you need to have a meeting spot and emergency contacts set up for any situation. Nearby fire stations, 24 hour grocery stores, or other landmarks a safe distance away from you home all make great meeting locations. Depending on the event these places may also be inaccessible, but knowing where to meet up or start your search will give you a peace of mind ahead of time.
Once you have a general evacuation plan and emergency contact established it’s a good idea to walk your family through a few scenarios and talk about the best and safest ways to responded:
Situations to Prepare For
Home Invasion: Having someone break into your home is unsettling and scary whether you are at home or away. Knowing how to protect your home from potential invasions or responded during an active invasion is essential for keeping you and your family safe.
Preventing home invasions can be easy and affordable. Some of the best things you can do is lock windows and doors, secure any pet entrances, and purchase a home security system. The presence of a security camera is so effective that 83% of convicted burglars stated they would actively look for any security cameras. If one was detected, 60% of burglars would choose another target.
If you are at home when a break in occurs there a few things you need to remember. The first is stay calm, you will feel a rush of adrenaline which will help you wake up or be alert, but don’t let it cause you to panic or disclose where you are in the house. The next thing to do is get to a safe room and call the police or hit a panic button. If the safe room is unaccessible make sure you have evacuation plans in place such as window ladders or back door routes. Don’t engage with the intruder or call out that you’ve called the police. This will alert them to where you are. It is a good idea to sleep with car keys next you to your bed so you can hit the panic button on your keys, creating a distracting and alerting the neighborhood to a disturbance.
In the case of an extreme situation it is good to think about how you will defend yourself and state laws surrounding self defense. Using pepper spray or other legal defenses are only beneficial if you know how to properly use them. The key to responding effectively in these situations is to practice not panic. Being confident in yourself and your rights will help you and your family avoid unnecessary consequences.
Fire: Your family should know more than Stop, Drop, and Roll if a fire were to occur. The smoke from even a small fire can overwhelm and incapacitate small children, making your evacuation longer and more stressful.
Having the correct amount if fire alarms installed in your home in the first line of defense for a fire. After installing them practice setting them off and teaching family members what they sound like. The noise is startling and if left unpracticed could cause panic during a crisis.
Next make an evacuation plan and assign tasks. The evacuation plan should highlight multiple ways to safely exit the house and determine a meeting location a safe distance from the house. Assigning tasks may sound silly, but giving children something to focus on and remember is crucial. For smaller children the only task should be exiting the home safely, for older family members tasks could include making sure pets are out safely and calling 911.
If the smoke is thick make sure to use something like a t-shirt over your mouth to avoid inhaling and in the extreme case of an item of your clothing catching on fire it is still go to know stop, drop, and roll. Practice these drills and regrouping at your meeting place often, knowing that your family is well equipped to respond to a fire will make the process go more smoothly iin times of need.
Floods: Depending on your geographical location, floods may be a pipe breaking in your basement or it could be a river rushing down your street. No matter the severity there a few things you can also do to help preserve you home and get out safely.
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, knowing the warning signs and evacuating to a safe location before the water hits is the safest solution. If you do find yourself trapped in a location once flooding has begun, make sure never to enter fast flowing water on foot or in a vehicle. Being swept away or trapped is the easiest way to get hurt. Read more on flood preparedness and prevention here.
Ways to prevent damage from flooding include disconnecting electrical appliances for when power is restored, turning off your electricity from the main line, anchoring any fuel tanks, and moving furniture or valuables to safter locations in the house. These measures can be taken for a busted pipe or a natural disaster. Depending on the frequency of floods it is worth further flood proofing your home and having electrical outlets moved higher up your walls.
Prepared for Anything
These are just a few examples of how you family can be prepared during National Preparedness Month. This information is meant provide resources for troubling situations and to help families be prepared for anything. LightCam’s goal is to help you see life as it happens. So you can cherish the good and be prepared for the not so good. Leave comments below with some of your favorite family preparedness tips!