Helping your family stay prepared for any and all emergencies can naturally take a little bit of planning. From finding all your most reliable 24/7 trades services through RACV Trades to developing emergency procedures for your household, there are a number of considerations you must make to help you and your kids stay safe in the event of a home emergency.
For this reason, keeping all your household’s most important emergency contact information on your fridge should be a standard practice, especially for single parents who are caring for younger children. Here are the top 8 emergency contacts that you should be keeping on your fridge.
1. Local police and fire departments
If you’ve moved house recently, then chances are your new local council offices may have sent you a fridge magnet that lists contact information for all your local emergency services. We recommend that you place this magnet in a prominent position on your fridge, alongside informing your kids about the numbers on this magnet and who they should contact in certain situations.
If you have younger kids, it will be beneficial to teach them how to ring 000 on top of ensuring that your kids are familiar with the contact numbers for your local police and fire departments. The Triple Zero Kids’ Challenge app can help parents easily teach their kids about 000 and how to ask for emergency services if they ever need to contact these services on their family’s behalf.
2. Your family doctor
You’ll want to make sure that contact information for your family doctor is readily available at all times. Having your doctor’s information on hand becomes especially important if you or your kids have any medical conditions or are routinely on medication.
That’s why it’s imperative that you keep the landline phone number for your local GP and clinic on your fridge. Be sure to also include any extension numbers to help you reach your family doctor directly if necessary or applicable.
3. Your nearest hospital
As ambulances are required to transport patients to the nearest hospital in the event of an emergency, it’s essential that your kids know the name of that hospital, and how they can reach it via a phone call in the event that you or any of their siblings are transported there. Like your council emergency contact information, you can use a fridge magnet to help your kids quickly identify contact numbers for their local hospital.
Some parents may even decide to include maps detailing where your nearest hospital is located to help kids better contextualise the distance from your home. It’s all about including the resources that will be most beneficial and reassuring for you and your family.
4. Your plumber
Did you know that burst or broken pipes are amongst the most common household emergencies? Water damage can also be one of the most insidious faults that any house can experience, with prolonged damage having the potential to cause major structural damage to your property, as well as negatively impact your family’s health through the production of mould spores and moisture in the home.
With these facts in mind, it’s crucial that your kids know just who to call in the event that a pipe does burst, there are leaks in the walls or ceiling, or your house becomes flooded. Equipping your family with all the right tools to get ahead of plumbing faults can help both keep your family safe and healthy, and keep your home in tip top shape too.
5. Your electrician
Electrical safety tends to be of the utmost importance for most parents, especially if they have younger kids that are prone to getting a little too curious. Electrical faults, fires, and other home electrical emergencies caused by unsafe handling of home appliances or power outlets, can still occur with even the most rigorous childproofing. That’s why it’s vital for all kids to learn about electrical safety as soon as they’re old enough.
On top of this, your kids should also know how to contact your family’s electrician and other emergency electrical services. Be sure to keep this contact info up-to-date, especially in the lead up to storm season.
6. A local locksmith
If you’ve ever been locked out, you’ll know just how horrible and helpless the situation can make you feel. There’s also undoubtedly a sense of regret with every lockout experience, because your brain naturally goes back to how the situation could’ve been easily avoided with a little extra care.
Regardless, lockouts are a part of life, and they can happen to anybody at any time, but especially so for parents who are frantically trying to leave the house with young kids in tow. So if you ever find yourself in a situation where you or the kids have locked yourself out, knowing how to get in touch with your locksmith can help alleviate some of the stress that inevitably comes with experiencing a lockout.
7. School and work contact info
Your kids should know how to reach you during work hours whenever they may need to. This means that both your mobile number and work contact information should be clearly visible on the fridge at home, as well as on record with your kids’ schools.
Speaking of school, you should also be sure to keep all school and kindergarten contact information nearby in case you ever need to communicate with your kids, their teachers, or school administration on weekdays.
8. Your next-door neighbours
As the nearest adults who can access your home almost immediately and are familiar to your kids, your next-door neighbours absolutely deserve a spot on your household’s emergency contact list. Be sure to ask for your neighbours’ mobile numbers as well as their home’s landline number, just to make sure that you’ve covered all your bases. You should also offer to exchange numbers so that they know they can rely on you in the event of an emergency just as much as you can rely on them.
By keeping these 8 emergency contacts on your fridge at all times and developing household emergency procedures with your kids, you can help ensure that you and your family stays safe in the event of any and all home emergencies.
Further reading: Quick guide to feeling safe in your home as a single mum.