With hurricane season in full swing and wildfires raging on the west coast, it’s the right time to think about a plan should your family be affected by a natural disaster.
At NCMEC, we know that children who become separated from their loved ones during and following a disaster are at an increased risk of trauma. In 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, NCMEC handled 34,045 calls and helped resolve the 5,192 missing children cases reported to NCMEC.
It’s vital that you plan ahead in case you ever need to evacuate your home. It’s even more important now, in this COVID era. Because of current physical distancing recommendations, you may not be able to evacuate to the places you had originally planned on…like the homes of friends and family. You also need to consider that evacuating could take longer, as well as emergency response and power restoration.
And what would you do if your family was separated during a natural disaster? What if phone lines were down? What if the internet wasn’t working?
Here are some tips for creating your emergency plan. Check out missingkids.org/ourwork/disasters for more ideas and information.
Be sure to update your evacuation plans by taking the impact of COVID-19 into account. Check with your family and friends about their safety and comfort levels in terms of where you will evacuate. NCMEC has a helpful video to walk you through the steps. And remember, if you’re ever separated from you child during a disaster, call NCMEC immediately at 1-800-THE-LOST.