Seattle: A City Connected by Bridges
Have you ever thought about the way your family would reunify after a regional interruption? If you are like many of us, you travel over a bridge and/or under several overpasses to get to and from work. In fact, if you live north of the Ship Canal, there is no way gain access without crossing a bridge.
Our bridges and overpasses are susceptible to damage from a seismic event. Thus, it is imperative to have plans in place to reconnect with your loved ones. First consider if you are able to safely return home, in the event you are unable, establish a secondary meeting place that is near your home and a tertiary site further away. Red Cross shelters would be one viable option to consider. Of course they won't be able to share that you are at the shelter, but you could register for the Safe and Well website and indicate that you are safe.
Since it could take some time to reunify, it is highly recommended that you have a robust emergency communications plan in place. Remember to contact your out of area contact shortly after an interruption to report on your well being and learn about your loved ones. Consider text messaging, email and social media to connect with loved ones, as well.
If you have small children, make sure to talk to their child care provider to learn what their plans are. Will they stay with your children until you or an alternate pre- identified caregiver comes to collect your child? Or do they have some alternate plan? If you don't know, ask those questions and find out what their plan entails. You will rest better knowing your children will be cared for after a regional interruption.
As you spend time with family and friends over the Holiday Season, share these ideas at the dinner table, at work events and other Holiday festivities. Encourage those you know and love to develop their plans, maybe 2016 could be your year to develop a New Year's Resolution around being better prepared.