Every family and even community living in a disaster prone area should prepare a sound and clear emergency communications set up. It’s of important importance that you train among each other and ensure that everyone understands the steps completely. This can be especially true for kids, since they’re prone to forget what doesn’t interest them personally. Otherwise, they should understand the importance of your training sessions and why you, as a family, have to do this.
Optionally, you can try to turn it slightly into a game, however you still have to point out that, in a real emergency scenario it won’t be as fun as during the training. The concept is to engage all members of the family, have them all understand the importance of your emergency communications plan and yet, not be stressed during the training.
The principle behind the acronym COMMUNICATE
This acronym is popular among preppers (and crafted by ready.gov) and they use it to easily remember some of the most crucial points of an emergency communication plan.
- Create the family plan and stick to it. Spread among all family members emergency phone numbers, including the personal phone numbers of each family member. Give information to meeting locations.
- Options: you can use various items to establish communication. From the cell phone, to stationary phones and emails as well.
- Make sure to get acquainted with your child’s school emergency plan
- Make a plan on where to meet if you can’t get to your home, in case of a disaster/emergency
- Understand – it takes time to get through to all your family members. It requires patience. Don’t panic.
- Needs – your pets also must be considered, including their needs. Take a cage if you have a cat. Don’t leave them behind.
- Information – You need to stay informed at all times. Get an emergency radio, watch the news, read online, etc. In severe cases, only the battery-operated radio will be of help.
- Copy the plans, and keep them in a place which you can access within seconds. This is especially important during emergencies, when you need to leave quickly.
- Ask your children and partner how they feel, both about the situation and the emergency plan. Discuss the plan together. Make sure the kids understand it.
- Take your children and spouse to see the meeting locations and spots. Go there together now and then in order to remember the directions. They need to get through to them without much of a thought.
- Emergency – Talk about the different levels and severity of emergency situations. Talk about the dangers of each emergency type, and how that will affect your plan.
This was a simplified overview offered by the government so that you remember the most important aspects of the emergency communications plan.
When talking about the emergency communications plan, we need to point out the purposes of this plan. These are three simple purposes:
- To initiate the plan, or change some step of its execution
- To initiate/inform the beginning a stage/phase of the plan
- To inform of your status/requirements, also known as situation report (SITREP)
It can be said straightaway that if you need to communicate for some other reason or purpose, this suggests that your plan has actually failed. An emergency communications plan shouldn’t be about anything however the beginning, phases, ending of the plan, and regular reports. No other reason should be enforced in your plan …