Emergency Preparedness: Drills and Family Emergency Binder

There was a large fire in our town last week where 3 children from one family died and 5 others plus the mother were injured, some seriously. Then we have had severe weather around us and family members. All this got me thinking about emergency preparedness.

The first thing to do is hold fire and tornado drills.

Here are some steps for severe weather drills:

  •  Decide the best place in your home to go during severe weather (basement or interior bathroom with no windows is best)
  • Make sure all the kids know were to go and how to get there (we actually have them practice with their eyes closed “feeling” the way)
  • Teach kids positions to protect heads
  • Hold a drill
  • Talk through the drill with your kids before and after. Ask what everyone could have done better and let the kids come up with ideas
  • For those of us in hurricane areas, determine several acceptable hurricane evacuation routes and destinations and program them into your GPS or print maps (for your Emergency Binder below)

Fire Drills:

  • Select a predetermined meeting area a safe distance from your house (but close by) and make sure everyone knows where it is (your mailbox, front sidewalk etc. Ours is a fence at the back of our community.)
  • Go over evacuation procedures from every room in your home. Be sure everyone knows at least 2 escape routes from each room (window & door)
  • Explain how to check doorknobs for heat (use the back of your hand to feel) & have kids practice
  • Explain how to roll up a sheet or blanket and place at the bottom of doors to keep smoke out of a room & have kids practice
  • Explain how to put a sheet out of a window to signal to rescue crews that you need help in that room & have kids practice
  • Do a trial run of your fire evacuation
  • Do a surprise fire drill and time it. Go over the results with the family and ask for ideas on how you could do it better

Emergency Binder: Create a Family Emergency Binder that you can grab as you run out the door or to the basement in the event of an emergency. Things to include in the binder:

  • Family Emergency Plan Use this form from FEMA to put together emergency contact information and other important family information
  • A current group family picture (within the last year) and current individual pictures (school pictures work well)
  • Use these forms to include all relevant family information: Identity Information, Basic Emergency Plan, Financial Information, and Lawyers, Service Providers, and Other Contacts
  • Copies of everyone’s IDs, passports, Social Security Cards, and birth certificates
  • Last 3 years tax returns
  • Most recent bank statements
  • Credit card statements and copies (front & back) of credit cards
  • Copies of car titles, loan, and insurance information
  • Copy of your home loan statement or rent agreement
  • Copy of home owners or renters insurance policy
  • Copies of all Life insurance policies
  • Copies of health insurance cards and policy (where applicable)
  • Copies of all retirement and other investment statements
  • Copy of marriage license
  • Copy of military records
  • Current medical information for all family members Medical Information Template
  • Copies of any professional licenses (e.g. teaching certificate)
  • Copies of diplomas
  • Basic home inventory, including electronics, furniture, appliances, antiques, jewelry, household goods, and anything of value. Include pictures where possible
  • Take a video of your home and burn to a CD. Include CD in binder
  • Jump (thumb) drive with all the above scanned and saved electronically

For ideas on how to put this together over a number of weeks check out http://placeforinspiration.blogspot.com/2009/08/family-emergency-binder-every-one-needs.html. However I would not recommend spreading this out over 24 weeks as this blog author suggests. Maybe try doing it over 24 days or within the next month.

Keep the binder at your Landing Strip or another easily accessible location. When you do emergency drills, be sure to include grabbing your binder in the drill. This will condition you to grab it in an actual emergency. Hopefully none of us will ever need to use any of this information but it is better to prepare now than regret things later.

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6 thoughts on “Emergency Preparedness: Drills and Family Emergency Binder

  1. Pingback: In Case of Emergency | A Happier Emily

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  4. Very important. If moms are like me, then they forget about the important things like this because of all the plans, events, and schedules to keep up with. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. Pingback: Room-by-Room Organization: Office | The Organized Wife

  6. Pingback: Home Inventory: How To Take and Keep Home Inventory Records | The Organized Wife

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