Disaster Planning

Disaster Planning

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 hurricanes 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:
    1. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
    2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.
  • Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact's phone number.
  • Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.
  • Know what evacuation zone you are in and a list of available shelters.

Complete This Checklist

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main switches.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Show 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 Hurricane 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 places in your home for each type of disaster.

Practice and Maintain Your Plan

  • Quiz your kids every six months or so.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuations.
  • Replace stored water 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 once a year.

Do You Know YOUR Evacuation Zone?

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