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The ABCs of Creating an Emergency Plan

Family Disaster Plan and ballpoint pen. Close-up. The devastating mudslides caused by the recent fires made me think of creating an emergency plan for my family. How about you?

I’m offering my own personal input to those of you considering – or not considering — creating an emergency plan. Do you have one for your family? If not, the first step in emergency planning is knowing what you’re planning for. Besides wildfires, Californians need to focus on other natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and high winds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an emergency preparedness campaign designed to help the public survive a zombie apocalypse. The CDC’s zombie preparedness campaign may be tongue-in-cheek, but the point is if you and your family can prepare yourselves for the zombie apocalypse, a natural disaster should be no problem.

What You’ll Need

Although you should react to each type of emergency differently, the items you’ll need after each are largely the same. According to the CDC, creating an emergency plan begins with a disaster kit that includes the following.

  • One gallon of water per person, per day
  • Easy- or no-prep, shelf-stable food
  • Can opener
  • Important medications
  • Battery-powered radio to receive important news
  • One flashlight per person
  • Batteries
  • Toilet paper and other toiletries
  • Gas valve shutoff tool if your home uses gas for cooking or heating

The above items should be sufficient if you can stay in your home following an emergency. However, if you have to evacuate, you’ll need a few extra items, like clothes, a pet carrier, and comfort items for the kids.

Keep in Touch

You and your family members may be in different places when a natural disaster strikes. It’s important to have an emergency communication plan ahead of time so each family member understands how and where to meet up after a natural disaster. Make sure you consider what you’ll do if important roads are closed or blocked.
Keep in mind, cell phones don’t always work in a natural disaster. By planning in advance, you can be reasonably certain you know where everyone will be, even if you can’t call or text them. In case you have to evacuate your town, make arrangements for anyone with a car to meet at an out-of-town friend or relative’s house.

Zombies probably aren’t coming

You’ll probably never have to face off against the walking dead, but then again, you may never have to face a flood or large-scale power outage, either. But planning for the worst will leave you in a much better position than hoping for the best.
As you can see, creating an emergency plan is not difficult, but it’s very important. For ways to save your home from fire in and around Santa Barbara, refer to my previous blog with 6 steps to protect your home from wildfires.
As you know, your home is a major investment. While it’s up to you to do your part to protect it, it’s up to me to maximize your investment when the time comes to sell it or to purchase a new home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities. Call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at and let’s discuss your next move.

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