During our drive from Savannah to Atlanta, we noticed that the entire road was designated as a Hurricane Evacuation Route.  Having grown up in the Midwest, this is something foreign to me; we fear tornadoes but never have the time to drive hundreds of miles to escape them.

In the South, not only are the roads marked, but Hurricane Survival Guides are readily available.  Residents are encouraged to have two plans: one for if they decide to stay and another if they elect to evacuate.  For either, people are encouraged to have survival kits (consisting of different items) and action plans of steps to take to mitigate the impact of high winds. 

It was interesting to me that the emergency management offices encourage people to have two sets of plans and readiness steps, outlining two totally different scenarios.  In most crisis management plans or other scenarios at work, I think more people focus on having a plan vs. having multiple options. 

How can you develop your plans to not only help people know what to do in an emergency situation, but also to help them decide which course of action to take?  Can you outline a few simple questions to frame the decision and then a few key steps to follow after that?  I think the multiple plan option could also work in routine situations as predicting the future is rarely straightforward.

You don’t need to be in the path of a hurricane to plan which route you’ll follow.  Try to outline the steps in a few scenarios to have a path you determine rather than going wherever the wind takes you.

— beth triplett

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