In Case of Emergency


Floods, war, natural disasters, plagues, bombs -  no one wants to experience disasters, but it's wise to be prepared. 

Today's blog looks at 5 things you can do to prepare for different types of disaster:

1) Sign up for emergency alerts:

The UK Government is working on creating an emergency alert system, which will send out alerts to mobile phones. These will work like a radio broadcast, and there is no need to do anything to receive these, when the system is active. However, there are a number of other emergency alerts that you may wish to sign up for, which will be local to your area. If you do not live in the UK, search for emergency alerts in your country, and sign up for any which are relevant. 

2) Prepare Important documents

  • Wills: If you do have any assets, it is wise to create a will which directs what should happen in the event of your death. Generally, it is advised that a will be written by a solicitor, but if your estate is simple, then you can consider using a will kit and depositing the will with the probate service (current cost £20.00) If you want to leave money to charity, many of them will draw up your will for free- for example, Cats Protection. March is free wills month for the over 55s, and there are charities which will help with will writing.
  • Another document to consider having is a living will or advanced directive. This document stipulates what you would like done in the event of being unable to make your own medical decisions. For example, do you want all measures taken to prolong your life - or not? It relieves family of having to make difficult medical decisions on your behalf. You can do this for free here.

3) Store important documents

It's good practise to store important documents together where you can easily access them in the event you have to evacuate your home. These should include: wills; bank account details; legal documents (wills; birth, marriage certificates; certificates of education) etc. 

It also is wise to store electronic copies of all of these on a safe cloud server - take pictures with your phone or use a scanner, and store them. Ensure that they are password protected with a very secure password. Here are a range of free cloud services to consider. 

4) Emergency kits

First aid kits are vital, and ideally there should be one in every home and car, to treat for emergencies. It's also wise to know how to use it. First aid is about keeping someone alive until help can reach you, and focuses on ABC - Airway; Breathing and Circulation. You can read about this with the NHS here and there are free videos on the St John's Ambulance website. 

The Redcross offers advice on how to compile your own home emergency kit, which should contain food and water; essential medication; important documents; a torch; pencil paper and penknife etc; battery operated radio etc - see the site for the full list. 

Survival kits cater for extreme emergencies, possibly in wilderness areas, or where there is a lack of infrastructure. In these instances, camping gear such as tents; sleeping bags; compasses etc are essential in addtion to the items listed above. We travelled extensively in Tanzania, and used to carry food and water; and axe, shovel; multiple spare tyres; a cb radio etc. 

Emergency blankets are another important item. They are very light, and provide warmth and protection. 

Ensure you have all your supplies packed in a go-bag (ideally in a backpack, or on wheels, so it is easy to carry. )

5) Know your emergency plans, as well as those of your government and local area. 

As a family, ensure you know what to do in an emergency, and where you plan to go. 

The UK government has a page to find out about local plans for major incidents, and you should be aware of what these are. They will tell you want to do in the event of an emergency, and where to get help. 

If you are on social media, (facebook; twitter; etc) then try to join a group that covers your area for local information; Nextdoor provide an emergency contact system, which is good if you don't have family living nearby. Twitter is particularly useful for following news on current events, as they are tweeted long before the news networks start reporting. 

Being prepared can go a long way to ensure your survival in the event of an emergency. 

© 2018 Denice Penrose
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