Tuesday, May 14, 2013

spring cleaning and preparing, part two

We love that tulips are so popular in New England spring.

Welcome to the May 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Emergency Preparedness
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Last spring I wrote a post about how we created and maintain a bin of emergency supplies. Today I'll cover the another important part of emergency planning, creating a family communication plan. Ready.gov has a family communications website with some ideas, and I've broken those tips down for you.

Creating an emergency communication plan:
  1. Identify an out-of-state contact. In the recent Boston bombing, we had intermittent cell phone service within the city, so if we had been at the Marathon, we wouldn't have been able to reach each other. However, if you designate a person out-of-town that everyone will call, you can get updates through that intermediary. Be sure to tell that person of your communication plan.

  2. Teach your child a contact number, either your cell phone or the designated contact person's. Children ages five and up are able to memorize 10-digit phone numbers. There are some great ideas out there for how to go about helping them memorize it.

  3. Make sure your child knows how to use the phone in your home. In our house, we only have cell phones, and mine automatically locks, so I had to train Genevieve how to unlock it herself and call 911, then I had to do it again this week when I got a new iPhone.

  4. Distribute your plan to your local emergency contact, a neighbor you trust, and your child's school, along with a letter to your child in case of an emergency. 
If you've made a bin of supplies and created a communications plan, consider learning additional ways to keep your home and family safe and finding escape routes. You can also make your stockpile larger in a frugal way by preserving your own food. We are trying not to eat canned food as much as possible due to concerns over BPA, so I've been storing lots of fruit jams and pickled veggies that can be canned using a boiling water bath. Get started with my round-up of canning resources.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)


Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

Kieran has learned cell phone numbers for both me and my husband, I should teach him my mom or sister's too. He is fascinated with numbers, so he's had our address and numbers down for awhile. I love the idea of having an out of state contact for everyone - it makes so much sense, but I'd never heard about doing that before this carnival.

Justine said...

I'm impressed he knows two phone numbers already. We are still working on it with Genevieve.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

These are great tips! I've been working with my five-year-old on remembering to dial 911, but he doesn't have our number or address memorized yet. I'm hoping to get him more interested in learning that soon!

We only have cellphones, too, so we've done dial-drills where he goes through the steps of dialing 911 without actually dialing it, so that I know he can manage it. Only…he keeps thinking it's 991, so…um…hope we don't need that, ever (for many reasons!).

The idea of having an out-of-town contact is such a good one, too. I'll have to pick a reliable one for our family.

Julia @ A Little Bit of All of It said...

Wonderful tips especially the out-of-town contact one! That had never occurred to me! I really need to teach my 4 year old what to do in an emergency!

Chrystal @ Happy Mothering said...

That's a great website. I wrote about their emergency plans last September. My older daughter just turned 5 and I think it's time to teach her phone numbers too. Thanks for the reminder!


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