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Exes must forge plan for children in a catastrophe

People in Louisiana have lived through more than their share of natural disasters. Events such as the Gulf Coast's Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the more recent Hurricane Sandy, underscore the need for parents to be ready for such events.

That is especially true when child custody issues are involved.

Life-changing events could occur when disaster strikes and lots of questions dare to be asked, such as: What would happen in the case of a real emergency? Which parent would be responsible for getting to the children? What if one parent got seriously ill? Is the ex-spouse accessible and capable of full-time custody?

In short, everyone needs a disaster preparedness plan. Some things to consider when developing the plan:

•1. Who will be able to reach and take care of the children if a disaster occurs and you cannot get to them?

•2. Decisions are best made when you are calm and can consider all options of what is best for the kids in the short term. That also could include the long term, such as speaking with the other parent about your hopes for the children should you not be there to see them through to adulthood.

Hurricane Sandy is a reminder that we never know when the winds will send our lives in a different direction. They are a signal that parents need to communicate and work together to make decisions that are in the best interest of the children. Even the best-laid custody arrangements can be altered significantly in just a matter of minutes, and a backup plan is a must.

Forward thinking and having a plan will go a long way in the course of a disaster or if any unplanned circumstances arise.

Source: Huffington Post, "What Parents Can Learn From Hurricane Sandy," Deborah Moskovitch, Nov. 7, 2012

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