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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Nelson

Protect Your Loved Ones by Developing a Family-Communicated Safety Plan

The one thing that’ certain about the weather is that it’s an inexact science. Depending on your location, you may have to contend with tornadoes, hurricanes, and even earthquakes – not to mention fires! While it's normal to worry about the safety of your family and the potential dangers, you can take proactive steps to prepare, protect your home and family, and reduce damage. Prepare with Cher shares what you and your family need to know.

Written in collaboration with Brittany Fisher of

Photo credit: Pexels

Develop an Escape Plan

In the event of a fire or mandatory evacuation of your home, you should have an escape plan. Make sure you have multiple routes to get out of your house in case of a fire. Designate a meeting place outside, away from the house. Practice your plan with your family and pets at least a couple times per year.

If you have younger children, it may help to draw a color-coded map depicting the route. Kids are often more visual. Plus, it'll act as a friendly reminder.

Educate your children about the importance of not saving any possessions and just exiting the house if a fire breaks out. Many young children try to hide in the event of a fire. Be sure your children know not to do this.

When planning, determine a way to communicate if everyone gets separated. For instance, encourage your children to go to a neighbor's house to call, and establish an out-of-town contact such as a family member or friend.

Additionally, be sure to have a storm plan that includes where you'll take shelter, such as in the basement, an interior room on the lowest level of your building, or your very own tornado shelter from Storm Defense Shelters. Always stay away from windows.

Create an Emergency Kit

Put together an emergency kit that includes the following items at a minimum:

• Nonperishable food

• Water

• First aid/medical supplies

• Flashlights & batteries

• NOAA battery-operated radio/crank radio

• Walkie talkies

Small amount of spending cash in single dollar bills

For a complete list, click here. These items are what you'll need if a flood, storm, or power outage occurs.

Have a Savings Fund

While insurance will help with some of your expenses in an emergency, it won't cover everything. You should have money saved up in case of an extreme weather event. For instance, you'll need money to pay your insurance deductible, replace spoiled food and unexpected hotel stays.

Be Prepared to Hire Storm Recovery Professionals

Natural disasters occur in all 50 U.S. states. Knowing this information, you should plan in advance for repairs. For example, you might require tree removal if strong gusts of wind knock down large tree branches or trees. Instead of panicking once the damage is done, you should have a tree removal company chosen in advance.

Take your time and read ratings and reviews to find a local tree removal company you can trust. Request a quote in advance. Also, make sure you hire a company that's licensed, bonded, and insured. Keep in mind that the average cost could range from $50 to $1,500 and in some cases, even more, depending on the proximity of the tree to your home and its size.

Storm Guard Your Home

While it's essential to have a plan for during and after a storm, you can save yourself the hassle, money, and stress by preparing your home in advance. For instance, start saving money now to install a tornado shelter and shatterproof windows, since wind and flying debris can easily break regular windows.

You Can Never Be Too Prepared

Storms are a part of life, and anyone could experience a fire. Although you hope it never happens to you, it's best to prepare for anything.

Prepare with Cher helps save lives by teaching the public how to prepare for hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, winter storms and extreme heat. If you’d like to collaborate, feel free to reach out!

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