Emergency Preparedness Committee: Disaster Plan

I realize you couldn’t possibly give me 100% credit for the brilliant and informative articles I submit monthly for the SeaShore News, BUT, I’m OK with that IF you read them and pay heed to the tips, suggestions, and very valid direction each provides to keep us safe and aware of possible threats that we face from both natural and man-made dangers.
On April 2, The Orange County Register published an article entitled “FAMILY 911—In case of Emergency, create a security plan to protect and find your loved ones.” The article suggests the critical need of what we need to know about the whereabouts of our family members when a natural disaster or violent event occurs. On an average day, our children are at school or day care, and Mom and Dad are at work, at home, or running errands. During or after a crisis, parents often rush to their kids’ schools to retrieve them. The 911 emergency phone lines are probably tied up and cellphones calls might not go through. Things can, OR WILL, be chaotic.
San Bernadino, Sandy Hook, an Earthquake, (how about Japan or Ecuador in mid-April?), power outages, or many other unexpected events that DO HAPPEN. Just watch the evening news almost everyday. PREPARATION is a powerful way to help squelch those fears. Create a communication plan and discuss it with your kids (and extended family) several times a year.
Parents should (MUST) learn about their school’s disaster-response plans, as well as how to create a plan where each family member understands how to follow a predetermined plan of contacting one another and having them know where to go until an all clear is issued.
Social media (Facebook, Twitter) provide real-time updates. Here are a few tips to make sure you have your act together if and when unexpected events happen:
■ Include your kids in the emergency-planning process. Shop for your emergency-supply kit with them and make sure they know where the kits are stored.
■ Learn about emergency and evacuation plans for schools, day care providers, and workplaces.
■ Make sure your kids’ school emergency contact cards are updated.
■ Go to ready.gov/kit to learn what to equip in your inhouse emergency resources.
This list of EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS goes well beyond the tips we’ve suggested above for protecting your loved ones. Do yourself a favor and make your own list of contact numbers, supplies, create a family understanding of what to do if various events occur, and be confident you have a least taken these precautionary steps to protect your family.
These steps apply to not only families residing in our community but to couples whose children are grown and no longer living at home, and single individuals living alone. Customize your own plan and list of what to do in an emergency. We are one big family in NIGUEL SHORES. Let’s make sure we all take care of one another.
—Kent Wellbrock