Before a Disaster - Make a Plan
Develop a plan to keep your family safe in an emergency.
- Sit down with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
- Pick two places to meet:
- Near your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
- Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home. (Everyone must know the address and phone number.)
- Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Family members should call this person and tell them their status and location.
- Discuss what to do in an evacuation and how to take care of your pets.
- Discuss specific types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 for emergency help.
- Show each family member how to turn off the utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main switches.
- Train each family member on how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where extinguishers are located.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
- Conduct a Home Hazard Hunt to make your home a safer place.
- Stock emergency supplies and assemble individual and family Disaster Supplies Kit
- Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
- Determine the best escape routes from any location in your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Identify the location in your home where you will go to Shelter-in-Place.
Practice and Maintain Your Plan
- Quiz your kids every six months or so.
- Practice fire and emergency evacuations.
- Check/replace stored water and food every six months and batteries in your smoke detectors.
- Make sure your fire extinguishers are current or recharged according to manufacturer's instructions.
Be Prepared for an Emergency