There’s a lot to be said for sunshine, fluffy clouds, and rainbows.
But as wonderful and beautiful as nature can be, you can’t forget that gorgeous conditions tend to follow storms – and sometimes the storms are much worse than you could ever imagine.
Our hearts go out to the people of Moore, Oklahoma and the horrible tragedy they’re recovering from. It’s a cliche, but the power of nature is truly frightening. We had a brush with tornadoes ourselves earlier this week, and, as crazy storms continue to rock the nation, we’ve taken it as a reminder to work on revising our own emergency plans here at TechSmith HQ. We thought we might share some tips for family preparedness in the face of inclement weather in the hopes that it will inspire you to revise your own plans at home, or in the workplace.
Does your family have a plan? Is it clear and 100% understood? In the case of life-threatening weather, the possibility of miscommunication is an unimaginable risk. Great care should be taken to ensure the safety of your loved ones, and because making an emergency plan doesn’t take a lot of effort, you’ve got no excuse for not having one, capiche?
Step 1 Learn the Facts
Do you know the warning signs for tornadoes? Do you replace the batteries in your smoke alarms often enough? Because we have yet to develop the technologies necessary to prevent natural disasters, knowing what signs to look for is one of the best advantages that a person can have. Taking the time to research warning signs and preparation tips for everything from earthquakes to pandemics, and keeping yourself informed gives you a huge advantage.
Step 2 Build a Plan
Being aware is nothing if you don’t put some serious consideration into how to react to potential dangers. So, obviously, building an emergency plan is key to preparedness!
The plans can take multiple forms. Maybe yours will be written, and maybe it will be sketched. Whichever of the countless routes you take, be sure that whatever you do is clear and easily understood.
For my family, I used Snagit to draw a simplified blueprint of our house and annotated it with simple notes to indicate proper procedures. It doesn’t take long, and it isn’t totally accurate architecturally, but it gets the point across!
Step 3 Share the Plan
When you’re done with the plan, share it! Call yo’ kids, call yo’ husband and call yo’ wife – ’cause we’ve got an emergency plan up in here! Creating a digital plan makes it easily reproducible, meaning you can print a copy for everyone and ensure that it will never get lost. Ask your family for input, questions, and concerns to make the plan the best that it can be.
Step 4 Practice the Plan
This goes without saying. Practicing your plan is the ultimate way to ensure that it’s been understood, and it also helps to make your family confident in their ability to get to a safe place. The simple act of practicing will help to foster calmness and clear minds in the event of an actual emergency.
Step 5 Update and Revisit the Plan Every Year
Did you move this year? Or make an addition on your house? Has your family grown in size? Address all of these questions and more in your plan reviews, and see that everyone is accounted for. Locate emergency shelters in your area, and consider consulting with your neighbors to create a neighborhood plan. In the event of an emergency, it is very important to remember that communication is key to ensuring everyone’s safesty!