Emergencies can happen at any time and all residences should have an evacuation plan. Some emergencies can be predicted such as a hurricane while other emergencies, such as fire, can happen anytime and take you by surprise. Having a home evacuation plan can make mass departures easier and can save your life.
Create a Disaster Plan
- Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.
- Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather and other hazards to children.
- Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
- Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
- Pick two places to meet.
- Ask an out-of-state friend to be your “family contact.”
- Discuss what to do in an evacuation.
- Plan how to take care of your pets.
Make emergency preparations
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
- Teach children how and when to call 911 for emergency help.
- Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches and valves.
- Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
- Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it’s kept.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
- Conduct a home hazard hunt.
- Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
- Take a first aid and CPR class.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
Practice and maintain your plan
- Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do.
- Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
- Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
- Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year.