Given the recent tragedy in England, it occurs to me that most families do not have sufficient emergency preparation plans. I’m just blasting this out while this is still in everyone’s consciousness so you can take a few minutes and just do a few basics that can be life-saving, and at the very least, anxiety-reducing. It’s too late to do these things after an emergency has happened!

Just some quick things to think about:

1. Does everyone know each other’s phone numbers? We’re overly reliant on auto-dial, but in an emergency there are many reasons we might not be able to use or have access to our own cell phone and might have to use someone else’s or a landline.

2. Do you have an out of area emergency contact that everyone in the family will contact if they can’t get in touch which each other due to a local disaster? If everyone is scattered and communication is bad, everyone needs the same point of contact who would not be affected by a local emergency (think earthquake, tornado, hurricane, etc). Each family member should know the phone number and address of that person.

3. Do you have an Immediate Rally Point near your house? (Statistics show that 52% of families don’t!)

The IRP and the ERP: These are two places you need to pick.

IRP stands for Immediate Rally Point. This is a point outside of your home, where your family can gather if they have to evacuate the house for some reason. The most likely reason for that would be if there was a fire. It needs to be a place that’s easily identifiable and not far from the house. It’s also the place where your family/team will rendezvous if they can’t go into the house for whatever reason, but need to assemble from other locations, such as school and/or work. A street intersection near the home works well.

4. Do you have an Emergency Rally Point (ERP)? This is where your family/team will rendezvous if they have to evacuate the house during a moderate or extreme emergency and have to stay for at least a day or more, with the possibility of not returning. Your ERP is the alternative to your home. It is where you plan to survive during a moderate to extreme emergency when your home is untenable. It is where your team gathers if unable to gather at home or the IRP. It is as likely an emergency will happen while the family is scattered– at work, school, etc. and you need home, IRP and ERP already designated in order.

There are no hard and fast rules when you should utilize the ERP. Every situation is going to be different. The key is to prepare the ERP. It cannot be prepared after the emergency has begun. There’s a  more to all this, such as considerations for the ERP, and it, and a lot more, is in Prepare Now-Survive Later. But i just wanted to put this out there for immediate consideration, especially the list below.

Stay safe. Stay positive.

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