Monday, July 21, 2008

An FHE Activity - Emergency Plans

For our Family Home Evening activity in June, we talked about making a record of your possessions in case something happened to your home. This month, we are going to follow along the same lines of emergency preparedness. Let's talk about making Emergency Plans for our family members.

Does your family know what to do in case of a fire? Where would you all go during a tornado warning? Earthquake? Hopefully most of you have gone over this in your families, but if you haven't, do it now!

Fire. Talk about escape plans. Ideally, there should be at least 2 possible ways to escape from each room in your house. Go from room to room and talk about how you could get out. Ask your kids what they would do if a fire was in the hallway, or if it was in the kitchen. If they don't know, show them. Teach them how to "stop, drop, and roll." Also, teach them that things can be replaced, but people can't. They shouldn't waste time grabbing toys and other things.

Also, I really hope you have a fire extinguisher in your house. PLEASE learn how to use it. That fire extinguisher does you NO GOOD if you don't know where it is, or if you don't know how to use it. If you don't have one, consider getting one as soon as possible. I'll admit, I don't have one, BUT, I do have something called "Tundra" (pictured above). It's a spray can that works for all kinds of small fires (electrical, grease, etc). Boy, I wish I'd had that on hand when I had a fire in my house last October. Lesson learned, though. I don't remember how much Tundra costs (it's under $20), but it's well worth the peace of mind, and it will also be well worth it if I ever have to use it! $20 may seem a little steep, but it really isn't when you compare it to insurance deductibles, replacing your things, etc. Plus, only my kitchen saw the fire damage, but there was soot throughout my ENTIRE HOUSE because the cabinets had been burning for so long. If I'd had Tundra (or a fire extinguisher), it probably wouldn't have been so bad.

One final thing about preparing for fires... decide on a place outside to meet. Make sure it's far enough away that the fire won't effect it, and try to make it on the same side of the street, especially if you live in a busy area. Go there during Family Home Evening so there is no confusion. Make sure kids know how to find that place from each exit.

Earthquake. Even if you don't live in an area where earthquakes are likely, it's still a valuable lesson to teach. Practice getting under the kitchen table, and teach them that the most important thing they can do is protect their head.

Tornado. Another valuable lesson. What room in your home would you all congregate in? It should be a room in the center of your home, and ideally it should have no windows.
There are so many things I could say about each emergency. A little searching on the web will give you a lot more information about what to do in each disaster. Make sure your kids know what to do in these situations - it could be a matter of life or death. You can make these lessons fun by talking about it at FHE. Practice getting out of the house quickly. Make it a game to see how many people can fit under the table.
What have you done so far to prepare for emergencies?