By Jackie Kloosterboer – Earthquake Preparedness Specialist & Author – My Earthquake Preparedness Guide
It should be no surprise that after an earthquake you will likely not be able to reach for your cell phone and call your loved ones. I am still surprised by the looks on people’s faces when they hear this. Many people just don’t think about how an earthquake will impact them and their families.
This happened at a presentation I was giving on Earthquake Preparedness. I had just finished answering questions on how to connect with your family after an earthquake when a lady raised her hand. “Jackie – let me ask you this. My husband works 5 blocks from here and our kids are in daycare across the bridge – what if I can’t reach my husband how do we connect? If I start walking to his office and he starts walking to my office we may take different routes and never connect. What do we do?”
IDENTIFY A FAMILY MEETING PLACE NEAR YOUR WORK SITE.
Just like at home – identify a Family Meeting Place near your work sites. Following a major earthquake or disaster when you are unable to connect you would go to your Family Meeting Place.
It could be somewhere between your two work locations, it could be on the corner, it could be in front of your favourite Starbucks or Tim’s. The key point is to make sure your Family Meeting Place is a pre-identified location.
Once you have connected with your family at your Family Meeting Place, then you can start making decisions on what your next move should be. There are many variables that come into play that will factor into the decision making:
- how bad is the earthquake/disaster,
- are roads and bridges closed,
- can you walk home or walk to daycare (make sure you have walking shoes in your grab and go kit – as you know walking in heels can be difficult).
Consider all your options and then make the best decision you can.
You’re Task for Week #8:
Identify Your Family Meeting Place close to your work
1. Sit down with your family and identify your work Family Meeting Place.
2. Review the process – if unable to connect using your cell phone, work phone, social media etc. you would go to your Family Meeting Place and wait for your partner.
3. Remember to wear walking shoes and bring your work grab and go kit with you.
4. Determine with your partner what your next move will be based on the current information. Thinking through some of the challenges you may be faced with, can help you develop a better plan – consider the following:
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a. Do you stay at work or do you need to return home?
b. How will you get home?
c. Is transit running?
d. Do you stay with friends?
e. Do you or can you walk home?
We are all going to have different answers – and these answers are what will help you develop your plan. Having a Work Family Meeting Place and knowing the challenges you could be faced with can be a vital part of your plan.
As with all preparedness if this doesn’t work for you adapt it to work for your situation.
Week 10 we will look at some steps you can take to help make your home is better prepared for an earthquake. Until then – stay safe and get you, your family and pets prepared.
The time to prepare is NOW – once the earthquake strikes it will be too late!
Jackie Kloosterboer – BIO
Jackie Kloosterboer has been leading the way in earthquake preparedness for 2 decades presenting more than 100 Earthquake Preparedness sessions each year to groups and businesses. She is often interviewed by a variety of media outlets across Canada as she promotes the importance of earthquake and disaster preparedness.
As an Emergency Preparedness Specialist and an Instructor with the Justice Institute of BC Jackie travels across Canada teaching people how to respond to disasters to help those who have been displaced. Throughout British Columbia Jackie has taken on leadership roles assisting those who have been impacted by disaster.
Contact Jackie to speak at your next group or business event to help you get prepared for earthquakes or whatever disaster comes your way. Jackie will lead you through the necessary steps helping you identify what is important to you and your family or business.
Contact Jackie with any questions or to book her for your next event at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (604) 355-2414.