Do you have an ICE Plan for your family?
ICE: In Case of Emergency
Have you thought about what you would do if your kid’s school was evacuated?
Do you live near a major metropolis or military installation that may be a target for foul play?
What about weather related emergencies; floods in the south, fires, mudslides and earthquakes on the west coast, or the frigid weather of the north east.
There are so many situations in which we should have an emergency plan.
At my core I am a planner. I plan for things even when most people haven’t even considered it. Today I am talking about an ICE Plan and an emergency contact(s). I’ll cover the basics:
- ICE Contact vs Plan
- Situations in which you might need or want an emergency plan
- And … I even give you a sample plan/scenario so you can see the ICE Plan in action
An (ICE) In Case of Emergency contact is at least one person that should be notified of your safety, your well-being or dare I say it…in the event of death.
An ICE contact is “Your Person“. This person could be…
- Your spouse or significant other
- Your Mom or dad
- Family or Relatives…brother, sister, children
- Even a neighbor
“Your person” wants to know you’re safe. The one that knows if you’re allergic to medication, if you have a pacemaker…the person who knows your end of life plans.
If you don’t already have an ICE in your phone, stop reading (but come back and finish the article) and add your ICE contact(s) to your phone.
In some cases you may have several ICE Contacts. If you are a child or young adult, you probably want to include both parents as ICE contacts. If you have elderly parents, all their children may be listed as ICECs (in case of emergency contacts)
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If you’re in an accident, first responders, the hospital or law enforcement may look for an ICE contact to notify.
Think of all the emergency situations; evacuations, weather disasters or other tragic situations… phone lines may be down but text messaging might work.
When phones or texting isn’t working … Use social media to your advantage. Direct message on twitter, private message or post on Facebook.
Everyone and every family need an ICE plan. Just for that very reason. In case of emergency.
Although the plan doesn’t have to be written out, I highly recommend that you take the time to write it out.
- Writing the plan encourages everyone in the family member to be part of the plan
- Indicates who is responsible for particular actions
- Identifies if there is a “hole” or missing tasks
In the Midwest, people winterize their cars with “in case I get stuck in a snow bank” kit. I don’t know if that is their official name, but for illustration purposes, that’s what I am calling it.
On the west coast, they create earthquake kits. What kind of kit do you have?
Other parts of the country create emergency kits, emergency preparedness kits, evacuations in a variety of situations,
Is your In Case of Emergency Plan part of your emergency kit?
Here are some examples of situations in which you may consider creating a plan
- Children’s school is evacuated…for any reason.
- Who will pick up the kids? What is plan A? Plan B?
- What happens if mom or dad can’t get to the school. Is there an alternate contact identified to pick up the kiddos?
- Does the school have an updated list of who is approved to pick-up your kiddos?
- Mother Nature has gone off the deep end.
- Does the specific weather related incident “matter” in your neck of the woods?
- For example, is your area prone to flooding? Do you have to cross a low water crossing to get home?
- If family members are at home, where will they go if they can’t pass across the low water crossing?
- How will each member report back to the family?
- Fire. Are you prepared if your house catches fire? Do you have your important family documents in a fireproof safe?
- Do you have a quick grab-and-go family binder that has copies of birth certificates, driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, financial papers, Wills and other end of life planning documents?
- If the fire is at home, where does the family meet? At the big elm tree in the front?
- Does everyone meet down the street at the Tucker’s?
- Does everyone have an assigned grab-and-go item? i.e. Sally grabs the computer, Mom grabs her purse and the grab-and-go family binder and Dad grabs the dog?
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What to include in your ICE Plan
Every member of the family should have a copy of the ICE plan. Whether you write your emergency plan down the old fashion way…pen to paper, or you keep a digital copy and share it with the family, the point is to have a plan.
I recommend Evernote for this. There is a free option and can be installed on smart phones, tablets and computers. All updates are synced almost immediately.
Your ICE Plan may look like this:
- Plan A
- Plan B
- Plan C
- Secret passwords for picking up children
- Local contact – include name, phone number and address
- Regional contact – include name, phone number and address
- Out of state contact – include name, phone number and address
Here’s what an example sample plan would look like
- Situation: Sally’s elementary school closes and evacuates for emergency
- Plan A: Mom (Lisa) picks up Sally immediately upon notification from school
- Mom calls Dad to confirm Sally has been picked up
- Mom takes Sally home and waits for Dad to return home
- Plan B: Mom can’t get to Sally within 15-30 minutes, notifies John (Dad) to pick up Sally immediately.
- Mom, Dad and Sally will meet at home.
- Stay in contact via phone and text.
- If no phone or text contact has been received by either party within 2 hours (or reasonable time)
- Mom will leave a message at home for Dad
- Mom will back track to Sally’s school
- Plan C: Mom or Dad cannot reach Sally (for any reason)
- Mom informs Sally’s school that Grandma Lilly will pick up Sally.
- Grandma takes Sally back to her house and waits for mom and dad to meet up at Grandma’s house
- Grandma making dinner
- Plan A: Mom (Lisa) picks up Sally immediately upon notification from school
- Local Contact – Mary Smith, John’s sister
- Mobile: 512-123-4567
- 123 Main Street, Local City, Tx 77509
- Every family member reports hourly on the 15 minute mark for information and updated plans
- Lisa will provide Mary with updated phone numbers for all family members and other contacts
- Regional Contact – Wendy Jones, Lisa’s sister
- Mobile: 210-444-5555
- 777 First Street, Another Town, Tx 77777
- Every family member reports hourly on the 1/2 hour for information and updated plans
- Contact in the event of local emergency
- Lisa will provide Wendy with updated phone numbers for all family members and other contacts
- Out of State Contact – Steven or Maria Young, Lisa’s mom and dad
- Mobile: 202-456-7890
- 1 Pennsylvania Ave, Somewhere, NY 12345
- Every family member reports hourly on the hour for information and updated plans
- Contact in the event of local or regional emergency
- Lisa will provide Steven & Maria with updated phone numbers for all family members and other contacts
Keep the call in time consistent defines expectations. Lisa and John know in the event of a local emergency, the regional contact will get updates at the time specified.
Create an emergency plan that makes sense for your family. KISS – keep it simple, keep it updated.
Oh! Don’t forget to let everyone on the contact list know their role in the emergency plan. Every member of the emergency plan must have a complete list of family member phone numbers and the In Case of Emergency Plan.
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I know we don’t like to talk about emergencies and play “what if”, but take the time to plan…it will pay off in the long run.
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Here’s your “to do” Checklist
- Register for the your FREE Perfect Life Organizer™ Basic Edition
- Pick your ICE Contact
- Organize your contacts
- Have a family meeting to discuss the plan
- Document your ICE emergency plan
- Notify the ICE contacts from your plan
- Distribute the updated/finalized plan
- Schedule a review meeting – at least 2x a year to make sure everything is current
- Verify school approved pick-up list is updated