Household plans are often one of the most important things to prepare for, especially during times of disaster and emergency. Household emergency planning is important regardless of any economic situations or long-term goals you may have. In fact, families that have a family emergency plan are more likely to have “lasting power” than households who don’t have family plans in place. Let’s look at some tips on creating household emergency plans and what types of disasters are considered “emergencies.”

* Natural Disasters. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fires, and tornadoes are all types of natural disasters that can strike any region of the country or around the world at any time. Even if you live in a region where hurricanes aren’t common, you should still consider creating a family disaster plan just in case of an emergency. hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fires, and tornadoes are all types of natural disasters that can strike any region of the country or around the world at any time.

* Personal Health Issues. The effects of a hurricane, fire, earthquake, or epidemic can be devastating to your health and well-being. As we all know, personal health issues go far beyond heart attacks, strokes, and other major medical emergencies. You may be struck down with a serious respiratory illness, and the long-term consequences can be difficult to deal with, let alone the short-term inconvenience caused by a lack of access to health services.

* Employment Issues. The effects of a natural disaster or a terrorist attack can be felt in the workplace. If you’re part of a company and you experience an emergency, do you have enough company to evacuate to safety? Can your company provide you with temporary jobs for employees? Creating a family disaster plan should include a discussion of how your company may be affected.

* Housing Needs. Does your area have a special housing authority? If so, can they provide you with information about how you can work with your housing authority to establish alternate living arrangements for your family during the post-disaster period? (Even if you live in a disaster zone, it is not a rule against living in an area where there has been a disaster.) Even if you live in a non-disaster zone, it can be wise to have a family meeting to discuss your plans for getting a new home during the post-disaster period.

* Travel Emergency. What steps will you take to assure that you have food available when you evacuate the home? (You also want to have a source of water at your disposal, as well, but that’s a topic for another article.) It’s important to remember, too, that traveling can be complicated and dangerous in the case of an emergency. Your family’s well-being needs to come first and emergency planning can help ensure that you can make this happen.

* Other Emergency preparedness items. This list may not be exhaustive, but it will give you a good idea of some other potential emergencies that could affect you and your family. Things like, how will you get prescription medicine if your doctor does not have an immediate supply or will you be able to get fuel (or food) in order to get to a safe destination? Who will handle the medical needs of your family once you evacuate the home? (And who will take your pets into the home after you have vacated?)

Making a family emergency plan is simple. (The most difficult part may be writing it down!) Simply gather as much information as you can and make a plan for your family’s safety. Let someone else do the initial legwork (such as researching your local requirements for government assistance), and then follow up regularly with the same people to make sure that your plan continues to stay effective. In the end, you and your family will thank you for making the effort.

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