I'm going to throw some words at you: Federal Emergency Management Agency, and public service announcement. Are you feeling like these are two great tastes that taste great together when it comes to entertaining video content? Yeah, me either, which is why FEMA's just-released family emergency plan PSAs are such a pleasant surprise.
The PSA videos are a pro bono creation from NYC ad agency Deutsch Inc., and they're pitch-perfect in terms of delivering a serious message in a deeply humorous way. According to a 2013 national survey conducted by the Ad Council, a whopping 60 percent of Americans say they don't have a family emergency plan in place in case of disaster, and that's exactly the statistic these videos are hoping to reduce.
Please take a moment to check out the videos (they're funny, I promise!) and read up on the basics of preparing your loved ones for an emergency situation.
FEMA's videos are being launched as an awareness campaign for families to work together to create safety plans. The alternative to doing so? Well, take a look:
Haaaaaaa. "I'll only put what I don't need into a duffle bag." "Perfect. That's totally unhelpful." My favorite has to be the derpy dad in the second video, though.
Anyway, the idea here is to point out that lots of us either don't have a solid plan at all, or we don't share the relevant information with our kids. I know my husband and I tend to fall into that second category -- we talk with each other about preparing for emergency situations and we stock up on supplies, but we haven't sat down to talk about it with our children.
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Suggestions for getting the conversation started include determining who should be your out-of-state emergency contact, where to meet near the home if everyone is separated, and what to pack as part of your emergency supply kit. Other advice everyone in your family should be aware of:
• Text instead of calling when possible. It might be easier for a text to get through, and you don't want to tie up phone lines for emergency workers.
• Create a fire escape plan. It should have two ways out of every room, and you should practice it twice a year.
• Pick a meeting spot in the neighborhood. Practice getting there from various common places -- school, friends' houses, etc.
• Keep your contact info and meeting spot location somewhere handy. Like a backpack, wallet, school notebook, or cell phone.
Ready.gov has a Family Emergency Plan you can download, and there's a redesigned Ready Kids website where parents can find tools for preparing -- there's even a section on helping kids cope during and after a disaster.
It's hard to think about this stuff, but so important. Looking at these resources has definitely motivated me to make emergency planning a priority in our home.
Do you and your family have an emergency plan?
Image via FEMA
I create a special savings account
I put a little away at a time
I cut corners until I can afford it
Save? Who has money to save?
I plan to put it on my credit card and love the benefits of the reward program