If we were to experience an earthquake in the next minute, how long would it take for you to re-connect with your loved ones afterwards? If you haven't already developed your family's emergency communications plan, then this weekly tip should be invaluable to you.
The first step in developing your emergency communications plan is to identify who should be included in your emergency communications plan network. Generally, this will include family, friends and neighbors. It might also extend to your child's teacher or a co-worker. Once you have identified who you want to reconnect with quickly after an interruption then you need to establish the how.
The second step is to establish an "out of area contact". One of the best ways to reach your network, post interruption, is to utilize a friend or family member who lives outside of your immediate locale to serve as an "out of area contact". An "out of area contact" serves as a repository of information and can relay it back to you and your network. If you live in the Seattle Metropolitan area, your "out of area contact" should live at least as far away as Spokane. Note: Make sure you inform your "out of area contact", so they aren't surprised after an event.
So how does it work? In essence it works like this: Each of your family members will carry a card with your "out of area contact" information on them at all times. In the event that we experience a regional interruption, each member of the network will refer to the card and then call your "out of area contact" to check in and learn about the status of others in your network. The "out of area contact" can then collect information from your group and relay the information back to you.
The third step is to identify other means of communication that may work after an interruption. Some forms of communication that may work are: SMS/text messaging, email and social media platforms like facebook and twitter. When using these forms of communication try to keep the messages short, as the shorter messages will have a greater success rate of being received. AM/FM radios are also invaluable in learning about the regional impact and services available. Of course an amateur ham operator will be the most reliable form of post interruption communication, so if you can add them to your plan!
The last step make sure everyone knows the plan, revisit it often and test it periodically. Make sure everyone knows how to reach one another in the event we experience a regional interruption. The quicker you reconnect with your loved ones the sooner you will be calmer and ready to help where needed.
If you would like more help with your plans, schedule a time for HT2 to come to you! We offer customizable training sessions, safety walks, tabletop exercises and beyond. It isn't a matter of if, it really is a matter of when. Take the time to be informed and prepare now! Click on the link below to contact us or you can email us at email@example.com.