It’s summertime and people are hitting the road! According to Forbes.com, 68% of Americans will go on a trip this summer. Are you one of those lucky people who get to get away? If so, whether you’re traveling by car, boat, train or plane, you need to be as ready for a disaster when away from home as you are when at home. Disasters can strike whenever and wherever—including at your house when you’re not there, or at your vacation spot. Be ready either way with these tips:
Tip 1: Have a mutual emergency contact
Have one shared point of contact should you have a house sitter or older kids who stayed home, and make it someone outside of the area if possible. If a disaster wipes out communications in your area, you want someone outside of the area to be a mutual emergency contact so that person can communicate between you and the others if necessary. Or it could be that it’s your vacation destination that’s hit. Just make sure you have that one person regardless.
Tip 2: Designate a safe place away from home
Should something happen to your home, make sure your kids know where they should go. Agree upon it ahead of time so you’re not scrambling trying to figure out where the heck they went.
Tip 3: Teach the kids how to handle the things at home
In case the kids are home when something goes wrong, make sure they know how to turn off the natural gas and to do anything else that might be necessary in the event of an emergency, like find flashlights and work the fire extinguisher. If you have a house sitter, show them.
Tip 4: Arm all with phone numbers and email addresses
Make sure everyone has all the phone numbers they might need as well as email addresses. You can’t be sure which lines of communication will be open. This means having each other’s contact information but possibly also the neighbors’ in addition to your one mutual point of contact. Also make sure these phone numbers and email addresses are written down on a piece of paper, not stored solely on a smart phone that can get lost or destroyed.
Tip 5: Enlist your neighbors
Communicate to trusted neighbors what you would like them to do in the event that a disaster strikes while you’re away. This might be a disaster at home, or where you’re vacationing. Do you want them to watch over your pets, for example, or turn off the gas at your house? Or perhaps you simply want them to keep an eye on your place? Have the tough talk.
And in the event that you can’t make it home during a road trip, make sure your cars are stocked for emergencies.