Archive for Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Disaster plan

Having a designated contact person can help reunite families separated in a crisis.

September 27, 2005

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It's good to have a plan.

News that, in Louisiana alone, there are almost 3,800 cases of families looking for their children or children looking for their families is a reminder of how important it is to have a personal emergency plan. At the top of that list is to designate a friend or relative outside the area whom family members will contact if they become separated in a disaster.

It's not known how many of the 3,800 cases in Louisiana will never be resolved because they involve people who died in Hurricane Katrina, but it seems likely that many family members could have been reunited by now if they had designated a third party with whom they could communicate. It may seem maudlin, but making sure contact information is attached to a child who may not be able to remember, could be a family-saving move.

Thousands of families are facing a heartbreaking search to be reunited. Many probably eventually will find surviving relatives, but the process could have been far less traumatic if they had planned ahead.

A hurricane won't hit Kansas, but other calamities could, and the experiences of those on the Gulf Coast provide lessons for all of us.

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