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Fire Department

Creating A Family Emergency Plan

An old military adage states that when faced with a stressful situation, people will usually fall back on their training. If they don’t have any training, people will panic, or they freeze. To avoid panicking in an emergency, make a plan. This will provide the framework to make good decisions. Over the next few months, I will describe a general family emergency plan. This is a simple list of instructions in an inexpensive binder. The most important thing is to have a tangible plan on paper, not just ideas in your head. Begin with a flow chart, starting with “GO” or “STAY.” This is where you evaluate the situations in which you would leave your home, or you would stay put. The “GO” page should be the first page of the binder. Only you can make these decisions based on your family situation. Write down some parameters, but remain flexible. We are fortunate to live in an area that does not have severe winter weather. We are more likely to experience high heat or power outages, but be ready for unforeseen scenarios. Write down what you will need to leave your house for 72 hours. Divide the list between family members, and designate a meeting place. Once or twice a year, practice opening the binder, giving out assignments, gathering the supplies, meeting at the car, driving to a different city and spending the night. This will build muscle memory, which will lower anxiety in an emergency, and help see what you are missing in your plan. Once you have done this drill a few times, your family will be more confident in an emergency. Lastly, the heat is upon us. Stay hydrated and be safe this summer.

–Ward Symes

            Fire Department

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Washington City Utah | (435) 656-6300
111 North 100 East | Washington, Utah 84780 [map]
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