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Family Continuity of Operations Planning

by Charley Hogwood

family continuity of operations planning

While many of us who have prepared for a major disaster or pandemic situation are enjoying a little “I told you so” we now need to put our plans into action. I’m sure that now as most of you, regardless of how ready you thought you were, are beginning to find little gaps and blind spots in your plans. That’s ok, now is the time to shore things up.

You might have months of food stored but have you thought about a few realistic scenarios that could happen due to this particular event?

I recommend gathering the family and take a look at your everyday operations for each member. Get them involved and have a discussion. You want to achieve buy-in by everyone if your plans are going to work.

Here are some questions to get the discussion started:

  • What could you do if illness brings one of you down?
  • How would a medical emergency or illness affect the family?
  • What would you do if the schools shut down and the kids had to stay home?
  • What would you do if your work shuts down?
  • Do you have the connectivity and equipment to work from home?
  • Who is going to watch the kids while you work?
  • Do you have the supplies to shut in for a few weeks or months?
  • Do you have a family Continuity of Operations plan in place and WRITTEN down?
  • Is your plan accessible to the family or is it locked in a safe with a secret passcode?
    • Passwords to all accounts, medical, financial, insurance, etc.?
    • Do you have an updated communications plan to reach and check on family?
    • How would you call extended family and report illness or death?
    • Where is that list of contact information?
    • Are you counting on doing it over Facebook?
    • Is that information locked on a phone you wouldn’t be able to open if the owner was incapacitated?
  • Do you have legal documents in place?
    • Living wills
    • Powers of Attorney for
      • Medical care decision making
      • Access to banking
      • Estates
      • Hospital visitation
    • Do you have someone you can call to go to your house and feed the cats, let the dogs out, pick up the kids from school?
    • Schools have restrictions on who is allowed to pick up children. It is wise to identify two separate friends or family and register them as being allowed to pick up your kids in an emergency.
    • Make sure those people know about this and accept the responsibility.
    • Make sure they have the addresses of the schools and keys and alarm codes to access your home just in case.
    • The current pandemic may not be the next zombie apocalypse but if the household experiences a true medical event, hospitalization or death. The family needs to be able to carry on.
    • The truth is, this pandemic will pass. Most likely in a few months.
    • The economic disruption will last a very long time.
    • The President has assured us the most of us will “Probably not die”.
    • But regardless, whether it is the pandemic, car crash, or just getting old, at some point many of the things we have always prepared for will happen and the shinola will hit our fan.
    • Will you as a family be ready?

Check out this video to see an in-depth explanation of how Charley prepares his family for a disaster or survival situation.

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