CREATE A FAMILY DISASTER PLAN
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2018
CREATE A FAMILY DISASTER PLAN
- Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
Everyone in the family should know the address and phone number of the designated meeting place. Pick two places to meet:
- Outside your home in the case of a sudden emergency, like a fire; and
- Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
- Pick an out-of-town or out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance than to make a local call. All family members should call this person and tell them if they are safe, and where they are to help reduce panic during an emergency.
- Discuss what to do in an evacuation and keep reference materials distributed by utilities and emergency managers with evacuation zones and routes in a designated area.Take some time to plan for your pets.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
- Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
- Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches. Keep water and gas keys in central location.
- Annually check if you have adequate insurance coverage and determine if specific types of disasters like hurricanes are covered or excluded under your policy.
- Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type) and show them where it's kept.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home (especially near bedrooms) and remember to change the batteries twice a year.
- Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
- Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home and mark them on a diagram in your family emergency kit. Find two ways out of each room.
- Identify the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
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- 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 once a year.
- Locate the main electric fuse box, water service main and natural gas main. Learn how and when to turn these utilities off. Teach all responsible family members. Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves.
- Remember, turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damaged or if you are instructed to do so. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on.
- Listen to your battery-powered radio and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
- Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
- Take your family disaster supplies kit.
- Lock your home.
- Post a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
- Use travel routes specified by local authorities--don't use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
- Shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving, if instructed to do so.
- Make arrangements for your pets.
- Use flashlights--do not light matches or turn on electrical switches if you suspect damage.
- Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
- Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and get everyone outside quickly.
- Shut off any other damaged utilities.
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately.
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