How do you gather your family when disaster strikes your city and all of you are separated from one another?
Maybe you’re at work, your spouse is also at work, and your kids are either in school or at friends houses?
If all of you are scattered throughout the city, you’ll need to find one another before you can begin to make your way back home to safety.
What are you supposed to do in this situation?
We’re going to cover this dilemma today.
By far, the most important thing is TO HAVE A PLAN.
Without a plan, things could be so chaotic that the chances of you finding each other could become very remote.
First, you need to determine a centralized location in the city where you could meet. This means a location that is as equidistant as possible from where all of you are likely to be. Have a think: if your kids are in school and you and your spouse are at work, where is a good central location where you can all meet before you begin working your way to your house?
Next, you need to take your children’s school/s into account. How old are your kids? Only you know their maturity level, but if they are old enough to drive, then they are probably old enough to leave school and drive or walk their way to the centralized location. You could also make them responsible for bringing any younger siblings along too.
Otherwise, it will be up to you and/or your spouse to retrieve your children from school when disaster strikes. You should also contact the school at some point in the near future, if you haven’t already, to determine what their policies are regarding disasters. Most schools will probably secure their buildings and keep the students inside until their parents arrive to pick them up.
You should also have each of your younger children carry an emergency contact card at all times, so they will be able to hopefully get in touch with friends or relatives if you are unable to reach them in time.
Alongside your own details, this emergency contact card should contain the home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers of no less than three close friends or family members who you would trust to take care of your children’s lives. The card should also be laminated to help guard against wear and damage.
You also need to determine the best routes for getting to your centralized location. What is the fastest route for getting there from your place of work? Have a backup route as well.
Next, develop primary and backup routes for getting from your spouse’s place of work to the centralized location, from your children’s school/s to the centralized location, and from your friends’ houses to the centralized location.
The idea is to have a place where your entire family can meet before you work your way home. Obviously, this isn’t necessary if the location of your house is already in a centralized spot.
Go over these routes repeatedly with your children so they can memorize them. This means that they should know how to get from their school or a friend’s house to your pre-determined location by heart.
If your children are of a particularly young age, however, you may feel more comfortable gathering them yourself rather than having them walk through a dangerous and chaotic city in the midst of disaster on their own.
So, if you would rather pick up your kids from school or from a friends house on your own rather than have them leave, set the rule that they are to wait for you until you find them. You are their parent, so only you can decide what the best course of action will be.
Next, you need to figure out the primary, secondary, and tertiary routes for getting from your centralized location to your home. Each member of your family will need to have each of these routes memorized by heart as well in case they need to make the journey on their own.
Ultimately, it all comes down to planning. If you can plan routes to this set location and from there to your home, you can be comforted by the knowledge that your family is far more prepared than over 95% of families, if not more, for any major disasters that could occur.