Family Emergency Preparedness: All you need to know

Early this year, nearly a dozen low-intensity earthquakes jolted Delhi-NCR. Though the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) stated there was no need to panic, they highlighted the importance of preparedness and mitigation measures to reduce risks.

Natural disasters, accidents and tragedy can strike at any time. While we cannot avoid them completely, we need to tackle them and reduce the impact by being PREPARED.

We cannot stress enough on the importance of emergency preparedness. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has reiterated this fact. It has further emphasized why hospitals too need to be prepared to cater to a sudden influx of patients. Whether it’s at a workplace or in your home, preparing for an emergency is the smartest way to keep yourself and your assets intact.

What is Family Emergency Preparedness?

Emergency preparedness is a broad term that encompasses all the preventative measures a family takes to reduce the effects of a natural or manmade disaster on their property and life. The goal is to stay prepared for any untoward situation, create a plan that makes use of the available resources and keep everyone safe. Disaster preparedness can safeguard the interest of your entire family. It also reduces fear and anxiety.

Your family should know what to do in the event of a power outage, fire, flood, landslide or any other disaster.

Is there a place they should seek shelter, a panic alarm button installed in your house or an SOS emergency app they should access when disaster strikes? Have you ever thought how your family members can get the answers to all these questions? The answer is simple – creating a plan, an emergency kit and installing apps that alert police can go a long way in preparing for the worst.

Creating a Family Emergency Plan

In the event of a disaster, you and your family may not be together. Thus, early in the lifecycle of the plan, it is vital to determine what steps each one will take to mitigate risks. From taking your own measures to pressing the panic button to call police, you want every member of your family to be on the same page. While drafting the plan, remember to take into consideration the needs of the elderly, children, women and pets.

Further, your plan should entail the following:

  • Be Informed and Educated: Sit with your family and discuss what your risks may be. Understand the potential emergencies that could happen in your area and what is the appropriate way to respond to them. The best way to reduce the impact is by working together as a team. Consider the following:
    • Identify meeting locations once the disaster strikes
    • Develop a communication plan
    • Know important emergency numbers
    • Install an emergency response app or emergency platform
    • Get familiar with escape routes
    • Assign a ‘contact’ who can be contacted
  • Preparedness Kit: No one really thinks of preparing their home for an emergency because a lot of people feel like they are immune and safe to such situations. However, nobody really knows what can happen when. In some corner of your home, prepare an emergency kit in advance and let everybody know that something like ‘this’ exists. In case you need to get out of your house in a hurry, you should just be able to pick it up and run. Your kit should include:
    • Water
    • Non-perishable food
    • First-aid kit
    • Flashlights along with extra batteries
    • Sanitation and hygiene items
    • Matches
    • Extra clothing
    • Medicines
    • Photocopies of identity cards and credit cards
    • Cash and coins
    • Pet supplies
    • Supplies for kids and those with special needs
    • Other items that are unique to the needs of your family
  • Emergency Response Apps: Owing to the influx in technological developments, today there many safety network apps available that take care of your needs in the event of an emergency. Ensure every family member is aware of such security devices. While they provide instant peace of mind, they also offer immediate communication and access to help. Panic apps for Android and iOS are meant to be used during an actual emergency. However, to leverage the features and purpose of the app, it is important to test it. May be, someone in your family is technologically handicapped or hasn’t used an app like this before. Knowing how to use such intelligent safety platforms reinforces a culture of preparedness.

Omnipolis is one such emergency platform that is built to create a safe and secure environment for you and your family.  While it ensures immediate support, it also alerts concerned authorities based on the kind of disaster faced.

Today, we live in uncertain times where disaster readiness is the need of hour. Make sure you choose a dependable personal safety app for your family.  

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