One of the boys in my son’s class lost everything in a fire last weekend. The fire was in the apartment beneath them, but that didn’t save their belongings from going up in smoke. And water. And all kinds of nastiness that didn’t cost life or limb.
Do you have a plan in case of disaster? Where will you run? What do you need to take with you? It’s not too paranoid to keep a small suitcase somewhere handy, with a change of clothes for everyone in your household, extra toothbrushes, and a day or two of any medications someone might need. The American Red Cross website has some great advice on how to handle emergencies.
Do you know where your ID, wallet, passports, and other essential papers are? Invest in a fireproof safe for essential documents and you won’t have to worry about retrieving them in an emergency, or losing them if you’re not home when disaster strikes.
If you have to leave your home suddenly, don’t waste time. If you can, gather everyone quietly and calmly. If your smoke alarm goes off, feel each closed door before opening it. If the door is warm, do not open it, but look for another way out of the room. You should have a plan for getting out safely that includes several different routes. Fire ladders in each room above ground floor are lifesavers; be sure your older children know how to use them. Go over the plan with the whole family and be sure each knows what to do. Have a rendez-vous point, too… you can use a neighbor’s house, a nearby park, or whatever works best for you.
Do you know what natural disasters might strike? Where I live, we’re pretty calm, with only the occasional flood or tornado warning. Have a plan for each problem that might arise and know where in your house is safest to wait out the storm — if staying in your house is indeed the safest way to go! The
You life is your most precious possession. All those other things you have carefully collected? Just stuff. Keep your family safe and don’t risk your life to save a family photograph. In this day and age, you should have all that stuff backed up onto disc, anyoldhoo.