Family Emergency Evacuation Plan

Family Emergency Evacuation Plan
When traveling with children it is important to set up a family safety plan in case of an emergency situation where the family is separated. While traveling to Boston with my husband and two small children to visit my husband’s family we were staying in a nice hotel Westford Regency. My son who is ADHD is up early and I took him down to the pool to let him work off some energy, while my daughter and special daughter stayed in the room with Bill.

Evan and I were in the pool area for about 20 minutes and just about ready to head back up to the fourth floor when the fire alarm sounded. I called up to the room to be sure my husband and the girls heard the alarm and they had, so they were in the process of evacuating down from the fourth floor. My son was 6 and wearing a soaking wet pair of swim trunks and no shoes. I grabbed a towel and covered him and we stayed in the pool area which was isolated from the main hotel lobby.

At the time there was no smoke and we were unsure what was going on but heard someone tell us it was in the kitchen area. The reality is we were separated as a family and unsure what was happening. It turns out as we were told we needed to evacuate the pool area we ran into the girls and my husband coming down the stairs near the pool and headed out the side door.

This was Boston in the middle of winter. It was FREEZING outside and none of the kids had their shoes on and my son was still wet from swimming. We were now outside and it did not look as if we would be back inside anytime soon. None of us had our jackets and we were cold.

We walked around the hotel until we found our car and we sat inside the car to keep warm which was still a feat. But what I can tell you is that this was a valuable lesson for our family. In an emergency we do not know what will happen and this allowed us to design a safety plan for the future.

First everyone agreed when we leave a hotel room for any reason we would always wear or grab our shoes. Then we agreed to always meet at the car in the future if we are required to evacuate the premises. Since our younger children would always be with a parent there was no concern that we would not find our car. The grown-ups would find it even if it required walking around a large complex.

The grown-ups agreed to always have the car keys with them whenever they leave the room, even to use the pool or get ice. That way we could stay warm or dry inside the car until the emergency passed or we drove someplace safer. By having a safety plan in place while traveling we knew our children would be safe from becoming separated or lost and placed in danger by being with someone they did not know.

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