Creating a family safety plan is something we all know we should do, but it’s also easy to put off when you have more pressing things on your to-do list. But with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping us stuck at home, your family probably has the time now to make safety planning a priority. If you already have a safety plan, now is the perfect time to review it and make sure the whole family is on board.
Step 1 – Make Sure You’re Covered Under Any Circumstance
The purpose of a “safety plan” is to keep your family protected from dangerous circumstances. This doesn’t mean you have to think of every bad thing that could possibly happen, but you want to prepare for most key scenarios that could apply to your family.
The main thing is that you have to know what kind of disasters to prepare for. That’s why Habitat for Humanity recommends identifying hazards, especially those that are most likely to happen where you live. For families with kids, these may include:
- Natural disasters
- House fires
- Medical emergencies
- An outside threat, such as an intruder
- Gun safety
- Child safety, including sexual abuse prevention
Step 2 – Write It Down!
Once you know what you need to prepare for, the next step is to write down detailed plans for each scenario. An easy way to do this is to use a template, such as those provided by the American Red Cross. You don’t have to do everything all at once, but make sure you find resources (and have a written plan) for all kinds of possibilities too, not just disasters. For example, parents should also have a plan for fire safety, for talking to their kids about body safety, and for how kids should respond to a medical emergency, such as when and how to call 911.
Step 3 – Stock Up on Supplies
One of the best things you can do to prepare for, and even prevent some emergencies, is to make your home safer and better equipped for emergency situations. Look back at your safety plan while doing this and ask yourself what supplies could make you safer or that might help in a disaster. For example, most people think they have to either invest in an expensive home generator or simply suffer during a power outage. An easy alternative is to purchase a portable generator. When you search for a portable generator, look for features like how easily it can be moved to whatever location you need and whether it can be run on more than one fuel source, plus you’ll definitely want a model that’s high-powered.
Make sure your home also has basic safety devices, such as a Nightlock door brace lock. Unfortunately, many homeowners find that deadbolts and chains on their doors don’t sufficiently protect their homes. A Nightlock door barricade can ensure your home has an extra layer of protection. You should also check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, and educate your kids who are old enough on how to use them. This is also a good time to consult a list of common home safety hazards, such as the risk of a gas water heater fire or faulty electrical wiring, so you can troubleshoot these issues (or call in a pro if needed).
Even with the best plan for preparedness, emergencies do happen, which is why you should also create an emergency supply kit. We like the suggested list from HealthyChildren.org because it includes the basics like non-perishable food and water, plus things you may not think of, like extra medications. In case of fire, you should also invest in a fire-proof safe for your most prized and important possessions.
Step 4 – Practice Your Plan
The last step is to put your plans into action through practice. For fire escape plans, this means practicing your evacuation route and meeting up at a designated spot. For other safety issues, such as protecting your children against predators, practice means maintaining an ongoing conversation with your kids.
The reality is that a safety plan should be something your family revisits frequently. Sometimes it takes a scare, or a close call, for families to spend the time they should on preparing for a dangerous situation. Instead of waiting for that close call, why not use this time, while we’re all staying at home due the pandemic, to go ahead and put those plans in place?
To learn more about how Nightlock can protect your home and family, call 855-644-4856 or fill out this contact form.
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