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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Step 6: Maintain Your Plan and Emergency Kit

By Sarah Anderson

Learn how to maintain your family emergency plan and how to refresh your emergency kit. Periodical maintenance is a key to successfully deal with a disaster as it strikes.Preparing your family emergency plan and emergency kit is a great start. Now it is important to maintain the plan and refresh the kit to assure maximum preparedness. It is very important to perform these tasks regularly as you can never know when a disaster will strike.

A good maintenance routine is a very simple task if performed regularly and will allow you and your family to be as ready as possible, providing you with peace of mind.

Maintaining the Family Plan

Maintaining the family plan mainly includes reviewing and practicing the different scenarios. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Periodical Knowledge Test
    Review your plan periodically (recommended: twice a year) and test your family members with questions about details from it.
  2. Periodical Family Practice
    Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills on a regular basis with your family members.
  3. Refreshing Emergency Cards and the Communication Plan
    Update your emergency cards whenever there are any changes to:
    • Local or Out-of-Town Contacts
    • Meeting Locations
    This step is even more important for your kids. You must keep their emergency card up-to-date at all times.

Refreshing the Emergency Kit

You must keep your emergency kit fresh and safe to assure it can serve you when needed.

  1. Food and Supplies
    At least twice a year, check water and food supplies for expiration dates and discard. It will make sense to refresh your food and supplies more frequently and use the "about-to-expire" food instead of discarding it.
  2. Equipment
    Test your equipment every time you check your food and supplies. Read the indicator on your fire extinguishers and follow the manufacturer's instructions to recharge. Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries as required. Check portable radios and communication devices.
  3. Medical Supplies
    Do not forget to refresh your medical supplies and replace with new items when they expire.

Recommended Reading
Step 4: Emergency Action Checklist
Step 5: Assembling an Emergency Kit

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