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Practicing for a Disaster

We all know the old adage "practice makes perfect." Disasters are no exception to the rule. Practice saves lives when disasters strike. Communities, businesses, families, and individuals benefit from planning and rehearsing the steps to take during a crisis. Do not wait until an emergency to decide how to react. Make a commitment to practice emergency response now, so you and your loved ones are prepared in the event of a disaster.

Follow these steps with your family to make practicing simple.

  1. Decide which disasters could potentially take place in your community. Focus on storms and threats native to your area as well as those that could happen anywhere, such as terrorism or airborne toxins.
  2. Conduct a different drill for each scenario: hurricane, fire, earthquake, tornado, active shooter, etc. The requirements for each event are different, as large storms like hurricanes may require immediate evacuation, while other events, like tornadoes or airborne toxic events, are best weathered by sheltering in place.
  3. Create a firm checklist before conducting the drill. Consider the following:
    • Does my house need to be shuttered for protection? If so, are the windows closed? How many windows are there? How quickly can I close them?
    • Where is the safest place in my house? Has the family agreed to go there immediately in case of a storm?
    • Do I know how to turn off central heating/air and seal off the vents?
    • Do I know where supplies are, like emergency flashlights, water and food reserves, and blankets? Do I have a way to transport them quickly?
    • Where is the nearest emergency shelter? How do I get there?
    • How will we contact each other if we get separated? Do we each have a communication device?
    • Who needs the most help in my household? Does anyone have restricted mobility? Whose responsibility is it to help this person?
  4. Address each of the items on your list during the drill. If you know you may have to evacuate, teach your family members the safest and fastest route to the nearest emergency shelter.

  5. Practice together to ensure that every member of the family is well-informed about the pitfalls and successes of your individual plan. Coach children repeatedly until they can demonstrate that they have mastered the plan.
  6. Schedule another practice session each year to keep the information fresh in your minds. The more you run through your plan, the easier it will be to recall during a crisis.

How did your family do?

About U.S. Security Associates

U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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