Why written emergency plans are better than just having them on your mind

When SHTF, an emergency plan (EP) is crucial to keeping your whole family on the same page, even if you get separated for various reasons. (h/t to ThePrepperJournal.com.)

The benefits of an EP

If you write down your EP, you can minimize potential losses and damages. For example, an EP will involve getting fire extinguishers and teaching everyone how to use them properly. In the event of a fire, a written EP can help limit the extent of fire damage.

A written EP can give your family peace of mind. When it comes to prepping, knowing what to do is key to surviving any disaster scenario. If your family members can consult a written EP, they can stay calm even when everyone else is panicking.

With an EP, your family will know what to do during emergencies. You don’t want to forget anything during a disaster, and the best way to prevent this is by writing down your EP. Use this document to plan how and where you’re going to store provisions for your family.

5 reasons to write down your EP

Even if you have a great knack for memorizing things, here are five reasons why you need to write down your EP instead of keeping it on your phone or on a computer.

  1. It keeps your focused and self-aware — Writing down your EP allows your brain to focus on writing and form a logical flow of ideas. This way, it’s easier to make sense of your plans. Using pen and paper also makes it easier to remember disaster preparation concepts that you’ve learned. The act of writing down can also help you remember the content of your EP. If you ever lose the hard copy, you will at least remember important sections when SHTF. Make several drafts of your EP, then compile them into a finalized document that you can make copies of and distribute to the whole family.
  2. It gives you a quick and easy reference — When SHTF, you may not always remember important phone numbers. Make sure everyone in your group has a hard copy of your EP so they’ll know where to go or whom to call if they have an emergency. This also loops family members in on your plan so they won’t panic if they need to face a disaster on their own. Unlike phones that can run out of battery or a computer that requires electricity, a hard copy of your EP is easier to check even if you don’t have electricity. An EP will also be a good reminder of the extra preparations that you need to take care of if your family has a pet. Dogs or cats will also require pet food, water, and other supplies.
  3. It’s easier to make annotated diagrams — With a written copy you can make helpful diagrams that’ll help your family locate possible meeting points or exits. You don’t need to be an artist, as long as the diagrams are easy to identify. Diagrams are also easier to understand compared to complicated instructions, which can be useful if you have younger family members.
  4. It’s easier to review and make corrections — If you mentally plan your EP, you won’t always notice mistakes. By keeping things written down, you can spot errors that can easily be corrected. Having a hard copy of your EP also makes it easier to consult fellow preppers, experts, and the authorities if you want to streamline your plan. A written copy is easier to review. (Related: Emergency preparedness: 7 Common mistakes preppers often make.)
  5. If something happens to you, the rest of your survival group can refer to the EP — It can be hard to predict what will happen when SHTF, and if something happens to you, you can ensure the safety of your family if you give them copies of your EP. Make sure the EP is easy to understand so your family and friends can refer to it if they need help figuring out what to do next when disaster strikes. Something as simple as a well-written document can help them stay calm so they can reach safety or survive on their own until help arrives.

When prepping, your survival will often depend on a solid plan of action, which is where the EP comes in. Outline your EP carefully so each family member will know what to do when SHTF.

Read more articles with tips on how to create an effective emergency plan at Preparedness.news.

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