Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

How to best prepare for an everyday emergency

Change isn't easy. It's scary. But that's why you have to plan for change. No matter how hard change smacks you, planning cushions some if that blow. An unknown event is  scary and people REALLY like routines. If you have a plan, even a basic one, you'll have more confidence that you can tackle anything that comes your way.

Life is full of challenges. Every day when you wake up, you really do not know the series of events which will unfold before you. You can either ride the tide, take life as it comes, or take some of those unknown events, talk about them, plan for them. If one does occur, at least you have a plan for moving forward instead of getting lost in despair and hopelessness.

Outside of large-scale natural disasters, some emergencies just "happen" when you least expect it. These are the types of events that you can plan for. That's what we're talking about today. How to plan for everyday emergencies to take the sting out of an unplanned event.

It's ok to panic a little bit. It's okay to be scared. But don't let anyone know that you are. Don't let it become with you. You have been presented with a set of obstacles that you need to go through. Take the courage that you have, and move forward. Step by step, day by day, things will get better. For a little while, things are going to suck. You have to remember that there is it tomorrow. And that's tomorrow will be better than yesterday, if you know the way forward, and have a plan.
Today we are going to talk about several documents that should be on your overall plan. These documents include: 1) House guide, 2) communication matrix, 3) risk matrix, 4) plan escape route, 5) telephone list, and 6) emergency equipment (also called a "To Go bag").

House guide
A "House Guide" is a simple and straightforward set of documents which provides an overview of the way your house is run.Why? You would have lived in your house for a week a month a year a decade, and you know where everything is. Inside your house, you know where your cups are your silverware and your plates. Outside the house you know when trash pickup occurs when the mailman drops by, when is recycling day, where the closest pizza places, and other aspects of your neighborhood.

If somebody needs to stay in your house to take care of your kids your dog or just house sitting in general, they are going to be the same information. That is the purpose of the guide. It is all the information you want to share with somebody could stay in your house (if there is an emergency). The "House Guide" also includes roster emergency contacts (plumber, electrician, etc), a schedule of when certain activities occur (like if the kids need to go to school, when is trash day, when you mow the lawn), other information.

Communication Matrix
When you're in an emergency, the last thing you're thinking about is sending an e-mail out to your sister letting her know where you are at. You're getting your family to safety. But, if someone is filling in you at home and an emergency happens, you want some family members to be informed before others. The communication matrix lets people know that pecking order. I didn't make this up! Every good project manager has an understanding of these types of tools.

The matrix is set up with the question, "Who has the priority when sending out communications?"
  • R = Responsible: Those people in your life whom you are responsible for or those who are responsible for you. These are the first people you want to communicate within an emergency
  • A = Accountable: Those people in your life who are accountable to you or those who are accountable to you. For example: If the house is flooded, there is no way you're going to work tomorrow. Thus, getting in contact with someone at your job is an "accountable" person.
  • C = Concerned: Friends or family who are concerned about you. Seems simple enough.
  • I = Informed: Those who know you, but it's like a general news item, like a Facebook or Twitter post. You want to let everyone know your status.
Having a communication matrix helps to sort out who you really need to contact in an emergency. Here is a sample below:

Communication Matrix
Person AX
Person BX
Person CX
Person DX

Risk matrix
As I mentioned before, change is hard. When you have a lot of change at the same time, that will drive you crazy. So what you need to do is to prepare yourself (or mitigate) the change. How do you mitigate change? You mitigate change through planning. Taking something that is uncontrollable, and controlling you through a plan:

  • Risk Name is self-explanatory, you define the risk. You can do this in any number of ways. Just the act of putting the risk down on paper helps in figuring out what you're going to do if it occurs.
  • Likelihood: assigning a numeric value to  After you create your statement a number between 1 and 4 about the likelihood this event is going to happen.
  • Severity: It tells people that if a risk does occur, how heavily is it weighted. 1 - 3 scale (low / Med / High)
  • Mitigation Strategy is what you are going to do about the risk. For example, If the risk is that you are going to the hospital, the mitigation strategy is that you're calling Uncle Bert to take care of the dogs. Call mitigation, this-this event happens what are you going to do.

Risk Matrix
Risk NameLikelihood (1 - 4)Severity (1 - 3)Mitigation Strategy
Risk A11Mitigation A
Risk B21Mitigation B
Risk C32Mitigation C
Risk D43Mitigation D

Plan escape route(s)
People usually think of escape routes like the one if there is a fire and everyone needs to leave the house. But, you should plan for multiple escape routes if your home, city, or even state is in trouble. These should also be in your "House Guide".

Telephone List
An up to date telephone list is paramount to your success in emergency preparedness. An updated phone roster (with the words "updated mm/dd/yy" ) in the top right corner showing the last time it was updated.  It works with your "House Guide" and your "Communication Matrix" as the centerpiece of your emergency plan...

Emergency Equipment / To-Go Bag
As part of your escape kit, you should have batteries. The batteries that fit into the flashlights as well as those which charge your cell phone.  That charge cell phones and other electronics. Any maps of cities or towns that you might travel to as part of an escape plan should be printed out? Why? You only want to use your phone only when needed. So, don't spend the time after an event checking Facebook ... that's why you have a communication plan ... once you're safe and out of harm's way.
Bring some clothes, a book, some food items, and explain to the kids why they can't be glued to a tablet (or mobile device) the entire time they are out of the house.

People like routines, which is great for about 80% of your life. When a change occurs, embrace it, don't be overcome by it. By planning accordingly, you can take the sting out of the unknown, and feel better if an event is to happen to you!

Next blog entry
Thanksgiving is coming up! Seriously. Look at a calendar! We are going to talk about kids, Thanksgiving, relatives, and all sorts of good stuff!

What do you do in an emergency? Throw it in the comments section!

This post first appeared on Nick Stockton: Be The, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

How to best prepare for an everyday emergency


Subscribe to Nick Stockton: Be The

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription