Thankfully, we didn’t have to do that. But it was an interesting experience that raised a few thoughts I’d like to share with you tonight.
Drills are one thing, but reality is another thing all together. When my wife and I realized we might have to pull the trigger on the plan, it was something completely different. When your brain thinks it’s for real, you will act completely differently.
Checklists are key. You have to know ahead of time what you’re going to do, and when you’re going to do it. It’s hard enough to not forget something in a drill, but with the adrenaline flowing, it’s something completely different.
You have to communicate. When we discussed the situation afterward, I found out my wife was very worried about something that was under control. But shame on me, I never explicitly communicated that to her before the situation, so it was an instant point of anxiety for her. Be explicit about things with your spouse and family, and don’t assume you’re on the same page. Verify that you are.
You won’t be able to hide things from kids. In this case it wasn’t an incident where we had to drop everything and leave, so we had some time to do some of the ‘nice to do’ items on the list. Like asking some of the older kids to get some of their laundry done. Well, we normally don’t ask them to do that sort of thing at night, so they instantly wondered what was going on, and why were we asking them to do this. We glossed over it, but it’s food for thought.
We also identified a number of gaps in our plans which we are addressing. All in all it was a fantastic learning experience.
Two Questions For You
Now I have two questions for you. Please share your answers in the comments, or if you have private commentary, send me an email.
Question One: If you had to pull the trigger on your evac plans, where are the gaps? When was the last time you exercised that plan?
Question Two: Would it be useful to you for me to go into detail on HOW to put together your Emergency Action Plans? I’ve been thinking about doing an online webinar soon, and this might make a good topic for it.
Let me know what you think!