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Divorced parents should discuss disaster plans

Around 50 percent of all marriages in Arizona and nationwide ultimately end in divorce. And a lot of those marriages involve children, who wind up primarily living with one parent in most cases, but who may be staying with the other for a visit at a particular time. This may result, when natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes or flood occur, in the children being in the thick of it based on the happenstance of which parent they are currently staying with. Following a divorce, when such natural disasters strike the safety, health, and very survival of children may depend on the advance disaster preparedness of the household under whose roof they happen to be sleeping at the time.

Some suggest, as a result, that divorced parents should, if possible, have a conversation about preparedness issues. When a disaster strikes in the city that both parents live in, plans should be made for which parent will take charge of picking up the children at school, and will it depend on whether the children are supposed to be staying with that parent that week. In some cases, there may be other factors to consider, such as the location and relative safety of the two residences, and whether one has a well stocked shelter, etc.

Discussing such issues in advance can be helpful, as when a Hurricane Katrina or Sandy Super storm occurs, it is then too late and lines of communication may well be done. Depending on the parameters of the disaster, it can also be useful to have backup plans, as taking children to a location that is already devastated is not an option. Cell phones often do go out of service in disasters as do landlines, so equipping a family with two way radios can be helpful. Storage of emergency food, water, and first aid supplies can also prove to be life saving in an emergency.

Source: The Daily Caller, "Preparedness tips for families of divorce" Jim Cobb, Nov. 12, 2013

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