DO you remember what happened when John attempted to repair his roof during the hurricane? We’re you there when a huge Ackee tree fell on Mr. Lee’s house? Do you recall how the highway was severed in half by the raging waters?
I remember …it all happened when disaster struck unexpectedly.
Each year we are urged to prepare adequately for disasters; hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. How often do we consider these warnings?
Do we plan adequately for our family?
This week, we would like to introduce you to the Family Emergency Plan: a mechanism detailing the actions to be taken by the family in the event of a disaster.
This plan will examine the evacuation procedures, the emergency plan for the pets and other details pertinent to housing and security.
These details are often included in such a plan:
THE FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN CHECKLIST
Hold a family meeting about emergencies and decide what to do in case of fire, severe weather or a hazardous chemical spill.
Determine escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1.
Post emergency numbers near your telephones.
Identify a relative or friend whom all family members can call if they are not together during an emergency.
Establish a meeting place away from your home where you can go if the area in which you live has been evacuated.
Make sure the adults in your family know how to turn off water, gas and electricity at main switches.
Put family records in a safe deposit box or fireproof, waterproof safe.
Have a plan for your pets during an emergency.
Take a basic first aid and CPR class.
Teach responsible family members how to use your fire extinguisher (if any).
Practice fire drills and emergency evacuations.
Adapted from the North Dakota Department of Health
Arrange a family meeting to ensure that your plan is in place. Preparedness is key!
Hurricane preparation should be the number one factor before one selects that special plot of land where a home will be built. It is strongly advised that homes be constructed with at least one room fashioned to withstand the hurricane winds. In Guadeloupe, several houses seem to have an inbuilt roof. Some islanders, aware of the island’s disaster devastation history, built their external walls unusually higher exceeding the roofs. If you are in Guadeloupe, take some photos of these structures for your travel journal. Compare them with what you’ve seen in the other island neighbours.
Historical note! On 17th September 1989, Hurricane Hugo ravaged through Guadeloupe and destroyed approximately 10,000 homes and leaving over 35,000 persons homeless. Get to know your neighbours!
A bit of the French for the VisitorDisaster/Une désastre
Les coups de feu
The strong winds blew the tree down
Un coup de vent a fait tomber l’arbre
The storm caused flooding
Il y’avait d’inondation à cause des orages
There is a bomb alert
Il y’a une alerte á la bombe