Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Importance Of Practice In Emergency Preparedness

I have tried to stress repeatedly that none of your emergency preparedness items are of any use unless you and your loved ones are able to use them. Some things I have read about people not knowing such things make me wish to devote an entire post to the importance of practice for emergency preparedness.

The most common disaster, fire, is a fine example of this. What good will it do you to have the best go bag and emergency supplies in the world if you do not know how to use them? What good will all that do if you do not manage to safely evacuate your home? You must practice to be truly safe.

You need a plan for yourself and your family to deal with emergencies and you need to practice carrying out your plan. This includes actually having your own fire drill and actually exiting your home as if a real fire was in progress.

You must meet in your nearby safe meeting place and try out your further away safe meeting place. You would do well to give a practice call to your out of the area contact person. Local phone lines in disaster areas are often jammed and impossible to get through. Out of the area phone lines are usually much easier to get through on.

It would be helpful for you to check to see that each family member has their emergency contact information sheet filled on and with them. You could ask each one if they know what to do in the particular type of emergency that you are practicing for.

You and your family will be much safer if at least one family member is currently certified for First Aid, CPR and AED. It might also be good to have someone in the family with a ham radio operator's license. Ham radio is often the only form of communication available in a disaster area. 

Cell phones are commonly thought of as an emergency communication device. People are often unaware that cell phones stop working in many disasters. That is why an emergency radio is recommended for disaster preparedness. Information is vital in a disaster. If evacuation is required you need to know about it immediately. The same is true for shelter locations.

If you have your ham radio operator's license, you will be in practice enough for your ham radio to be of use to you in an emergency. You will be truly prepared for emergencies.

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