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Step 6: Maintain Your Plan and Emergency Kit
By Sarah Anderson
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:
- Periodical Knowledge Test
Review your plan periodically (recommended: twice a year) and test your family members with questions about details from it.
- Periodical Family Practice
Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills on a regular basis with your family members.
- 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
Refreshing the Emergency Kit
You must keep your emergency kit fresh and safe to assure it can serve you when needed.
- 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.
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.
- Medical Supplies
Do not forget to refresh your medical supplies and replace with new items when they expire.