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Your Family Emergency Plan: What to Do When an Explosion Happens
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  • An explosion, believed to be a terror attack, has killed at least 22 people and injured almost 60 others in Manchester Arena, England where Ariana Grande performed at a concert. Childre were among those killed and injured. 

    Authorities said a suicide bomber most likely caused the blast. According to The New York Times, he may have detonated an improvised device containing nuts and bolts as shrapnel. One witness reported seeing metal nuts on the floor. He was with his two daughters and his wife who suffered a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg, the New York Times reported.

    In the mayhem of the blast, many families got separated, and many parents who were outside waiting for their children were in a panic as they saw people screaming and some bloodied coming out of the Manchester Arena. 

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    The bombing at Arianna Grande's concert in London on Monday, May 22, highlights the importance of having a family emergency plan. Many concertgoers were families who got separated or children had parents waiting outside the concert grounds. Every family member should know where to go and how to get there in times of emergency.

    How to be prepared for an explosion
    Emergencies don’t choose a time or place so you need a family emergency plan so every member of family will know how to reach each other after any emergency situation.

    The plan needs to include each member's contact information. It should be listed down, yes, but make sure everyone memorizes the numbers. Unless you are in immediate danger, send a text. Texts often have an easier time getting through during emergencies.

    Decide an emergency meeting place to reunite after an emergency. If, like in the situation above, your family has traveled away from your home, school or office, agree with the kids on a meet-up place when you’ve arrived at the venue. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides downloadable templates for parents and kids to make setting up your communication plan easier. 


    Aside from that, prepare an Emergency Supply Kit before you leave the house, advised Ready.gov. This should include food, water, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, batteries, blankets, and clothes. Have copies of important documents inside as well including your driver’s license and other government-issued IDs, proof or residence, insurance policies, birth and marriage certificates, etc. 

    What other parents are reading

    How to respond during and immediately after an explosion 
    If things are falling around you, get the kids and yourself under a sturdy object like a table, said Ready.gov. When they stop falling, leave the building or area as quickly as possible while still watching out for falling debris. Try and stay level-headed. Panicking makes it difficult to remember what you have to do in an emergency situation.

    Stay away from weakened floors and stairways, stay low if there is smoke, and do not stop to get your belongings or make a phone call. Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand, like a jacket, and breathe through the material.

    Once outside, stay off the streets and sidewalks to make room for emergency response officials and other still exiting the building. If you’re attempting to contact family members, text instead of trying to call as these can get through easier, advised the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    Stay safe!

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