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Posted by Tina Bilazarian, Broker on 5/18/2019

Summer is coming soon!  Time for vacations and activities! Time for fun and relaxation! Do you know one very important thing you can do to guarantee your ability to relax?  Planning—in particular having a plan in place for emergencies while you are at home and away. 

When you are planning for children or even a new pet in the house – you look around and you start to see where the potential problems can be hiding.  You child-proof or puppy-proof your home in order to make it a safe place. We can’t really make the entire world outside our home a safe place, but we CAN agree on a plan as a couple or family or extended family group on what to do “just in case”. 

Of course,we all have cell phones that allow us to be in constant contact with our significant others, our children, our parents, our aunts and uncles, our friends.   Did you know that you can create a Contact Group in your cell phone that includes important people to contact in an emergency? You can include not just your local police and fire,but significant members of your family to contact, professionals you may need, your health and other insurers? Already built into most cell phone contacts app is an option at the top of the screen to create a “Group”.  Click on it and ICE – IN CASE of EMERGENCY group may already be there.   You can also put together groups of your choosing – Family, Close Friends, specific groups towhich you are a member.  If you only do one contact group in your phone, do ICE.

That’s it,we’ve got cell phones, we are all set. Not quite.  We also know that in some emergency situations, power will be out and the cell won’t be able to be recharged.  What if the cell service itself is out?  That has happened in some minor and major catastrophic events.  Do you have an alternate plan? All of your contacts should include email as well as phone and all of them should also be maintained somewhere on paper – yes, paper! 

As a household, do we always have a special place for important papers? Where are our birth certificates, passports and banking information kept for easy access in case of emergency?  Where is the deed to our house? Our homeowner’s insurance policy? Important contacts for repairsand legal or other professional needs?  Ofcourse, all of these items could be stored in scanned format in the cloud for access from any computer or eventually replaced, but who do you contact?  Do you have an emergency plan wallet card?  That seems the smallest, least inconvenient manner to maintain a list of important numbers “just in case”.  

Here are some examples of those types of cards to keep in your wallet from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management).  (click)

If you clicked the link you will notice some other important things to consider, in particular, a place to meet up during an emergency – a place in your home, a place in your neighborhood, a place in your town and a place out of town such as a relative’s home. If we all know where to go during an emergency situation to find our family, we will eliminate a portion of the anxiety that can slow us down during a natural or other disaster. 

Consider this as you are going on vacations to busy amusement parts or taking part in marches and gatherings of large proportion – do you have an event specific plan for that day?  Agree as a group on that plan before you leave the house or upon arrival at the location.  And don’t laugh at those families that dress alike at amusement parks – they can easily spot members of their group.

Once you contact a relative to get approval for making their home the out-of-town location to meet, offer to reciprocate. If you explain what you are doing, you can create a ripple effect of safety planning among those you know and care about. 

There are other things you can also do to prepare for emergencies – Click here for other free guides and plans from FEMA.   Please have the safest of Summers! 

#safety #familysafety #safeinacrowd #emergencyplan

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