Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Best Topic for Conversation Over The Holiday Dinner Table

November and December bring lots of occasions for get-togethers with family and friends.  These occasions are the perfect time to chat about disaster preparedness and discuss preparedness plans.

“What? Why? Isn’t that a bit of a downer?”

Sure, disasters aren’t the most light-hearted of discussions. But here are 3 Top Reasons to Bring up Disaster Preparedness Around your Holiday Dinner Table:
  1. These are the people – family and close friends – you’re most likely to turn to and rely on if a disaster upsets your life, and vice versa. 
  2. You’re celebrating and being thankful - what better time to acknowledge all the daily comforts that we have and think about what steps you’d need to take to protect  yourself and to make your life as comfortable as realistically possible during disaster times?
  3. It’s safer and less divisive than talking politics or bringing up old family feuds.
Here’s a simple fact: it takes a community to survive a disaster. Even people who are well-prepared need a place to go if a disaster has destroyed their home, and we all must contribute to making sure we assist neighbors, family and friends who are elderly, disabled, or face other challenges.

Top 3 Questions to Ask Around the Holiday Dinner Table:
  1. Where will you go if you have to evacuate your home? Your entire city? All evacuation plans should include a nearby meet-up place as well an alternative location that is not likely to be affected by the flood, wildfire, tornado or other disaster in your neighborhood.
  2. How will we get a hold of each other if a disaster happens? What if phones are down? Communications is an essential part of your emergency planning. You may not have time to grab your cell phone, you may have lost it, the battery may be dead, or cell phone (and sometimes landline) service may be out completely during a disaster. Picking a meet-up place is one simple solution so that you will know where to find your loved ones if you have to evacuate. Also, select an out-of-area contact that you can call with updates. That friend or family member can serve as the hub to deliver updates to other people inquiring about you. Discuss who is going to serve as this hub during your dinner conversation.
  3. What plans have we made for loved ones with special needs, pets or other people we care for? Make sure that if Aunt Sally is your emergency place to stay, she isn’t deathly allergic to Fido! And if she is, figure out where you can take your furry family members. Go through this process for anyone you have responsibility for or who has special needs like medication, mobility issues, etc. Also, think about friends who live alone and don’t have family in town, and encourage them to participate in planning!

I’d love to hear your comments below on how it goes :)

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