Another useful tip: ready.gov has an absolutely wonderful family emergency planning section. In ten minutes, I created three awesome documents - a family emergency plan, and an emergency card for *B* and I each. The only thing I don't like is that you can't save a copy, you can only print it. But it is a great tool regardless. I highly suggest reading the entire site, as it gives great tips on all potential emergency situations.
I also made up plans for what will happen if there is an emergency using the PACE principle. PACE stands for Primary, Alternative, Contingency, and Emergency. I have planned using PACE for how we get places, where we go, and how we get there. I also have planned a communication protocol. We will:
- Text “911,” alert level (ASAP, urgent, soon), current location, meeting place, estimated time of arrival, and other instructions/information.
- Get gas ASAP.
- Go to meeting place
- *B*’s parents’ house
- My dad’s house
- My mom’s house
- Family friends' house
- Text upon arrival
This plan allows us to make decisions quickly without panic setting in too badly. A lot of times texting will succeed when sustained phone conversations are not possible. It also allows each person to look back at the message at a glance. We will discuss these plans at length and agree on situations in which they will be used.
We also have lists of what we will get and who will get them given an amount of time to evacuate. For example, during a large, enveloping fire, we will not take anything but ourselves. If we have five minutes, we pick up our 72-hour kits, cat, fire box, and guns. If we have ten minutes, that plus our computers. At half an hour, that and our turtles and extra clothing.