Every anniversary of 9/11, I review our emergency plans and preparations. As a veteran and military wife, I’ve experienced too many situations of no-notice deployments and emergencies when my husband was deployed (and we’ve experienced fewer of both than most military families). There have been times when I barely knew our neighbors and had no family nearby. I worried about what would happen to my children if something happened to me. Because being organized helps me sleep better at night, I created our Personal Emergency Contact Checklist. Each time we move, I fill it out and give to a neighbor or friend so that they’d know who to contact in case of an emergency. You can personalize this diy emergency contact checklist for your own family and situation. It’s great for military families and for anyone who wants to prepare, just in case.
You can download your own copy of the checklist so that you can complete it with your personal information, but let me show you a bit of the checklist and how I use it.
I fill in the emergency contact information for my husband when he deploys so that my local friend will know how to easily get ahold of the appropriate contacts and will have the exact information needed to reach my husband. I also explain how to contact each person and why. My non-military friends are often not familiar with the specifics of the situation for a military family.
I fill out the second page with the names and contact information for my parents and my in-laws. Our parents have rarely lived near where we’re stationed. It would take a day or two for them to be able to coordinate transportation to come to help me or my children in an emergency. The sooner my neighbor can contact them, rather than wait for my husband’s unit to do it, the better for my family. If the military contacts them more quickly, that’s fine, then my neighbor can provide additional information to our parents.
I’ve also included a couple of sheets for special instructions, like allergies or special care, that you can tailor to meet your own family’s needs.
I hope that none of us will ever have a need for this personal emergency contact checklist, but I fill a new one out each time we move, just in case we ever need it. I encourage you to do the same. What do you do to prepare for an emergency?
Be safe. Be vigilant. Be kind.