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PREPARING AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR YOUR FAMILY

It is important that you pre-plan for emergencies. The following information is helpful in the initial formation of that plan. There are several areas of consideration:

1.        Mitigating Disasters Around Your Home

2.        Evacuation…Yes or No?

3.        Fire Drill & Fire Exit Plan

4.        Monitoring The Situation

5.        Plans In The Workplace, Daycare & School

6.        Disaster Recovery

1.Contents Of An Emergency Plan: A good emergency plan is versatile enough to cover all types of emergencies, but contains enough detail to cover specific information. Elements of the plan should contain the following:

·         Mitigation Information

·         Emergency Contact Information

·         Fire Escape Plan

·         Evacuation Plans

·         Meeting Plans

·         General Disaster Information

Use the information in this guide, your knowledge and additional information to prepare your emergency plan considering the following questions:

1.        Have you made your home safe before a disaster?

2.        Have you learned CPR and First Aid?

3.        Do you know how severe weather affects your immediate area?

4.        Do you keep fresh batteries in your smoke alarm or other emergency warning devices?

5.        Do you have emergency numbers listed by EVERY phone?

6.        Do you know the locations and procedures for cutting off utilities in your home?

7.        Does your Fire Plan include a meeting place for your family?

8.        Does you plan list the location and directions to your evacuation shelter?

9.        Does your plan have a meeting place away from the home to reunite the family?

10.     Do you have a plan to stay in touch if the family is separated?

11.     Do you have an out of state contact to stay in touch with family in other areas?

12.     Have you made arrangements to care for your children, if you cannot get them from school or daycare?

13.     Is you plan written down?

14.     Do you intend to practice your plan?

15.     Is/are your emergency kit(s) ready?

2. Mitigating Disasters Around Your Home: It is crucial that you take steps to prepare for a disaster. One of the most effective ways to do so is to prepare your home for disasters. The following is helpful information in that regard:

·         Home Construction & Improvements

·         Storage Of Items In Your Home

·         Additional Information

Home Construction & Improvements

 

·         Be sure that all new construction and home improvements are in compliance with local building codes.

·         Know the area where you build and the disasters likely to occur there. (i.e. Are you in a flood prone area? Did you call 1-800-dig-tess first to make sure that there are no pipelines, cables, telephone lines, etc. in the way?)

·         Purchase the types of insurance needed to meet those risks.

·         Trim trees that present a danger to your house or other buildings on your property.

·         Consider making improvements in you home such as: bolting older homes to their foundations, strapping mobile homes to their foundations, anchor heavy items like shelves, hutches and grandfather clocks to the wall, secure cabinet doors with childproof fasteners, secure small appliances and office equipment to tables with commercial strength Velcro, Locate and label gas, electricity and water shutoffs BEFORE a disaster, secure water heaters to the wall to safeguard against ruptured gas lines or loose electrical wires, consider the purchase of storm shutters for exterior windows and doors, and make sure that smoke alarm batteries are changed at least every 6 months.

Storage Of Items Around Your Home

·         Prevention of injuries around the home lies in proper storage and handling of everyday items.

·         When storing household chemicals remember the acronym L.I.E.S.

1.        L. Limit the amount of chemicals stored in the home.

2.        I. Isolate products in approved containers and from sources of ignition.

3.        E. Eliminate the products that are no longer necessary.

4.        S. Separate incompatible materials (ex. Chlorine products and ammonia.)

·         Make sure to read and understand the warning labels on products.

·         Use safety precautions recommended by the manufacturer.

·         Limit contact with the product to the degree possible and suggested.

3. Evacuation…Yes or No? In an impending disaster you should make a decision about whether to shelter in place or to evacuate. There are several factors to consider:

·         Are you in a flood prone area?

·         Is your home completely safe from the disaster?

·         Does any member of your home have special medical needs that you will not be able to meet after the disaster?

·         Will your home be a “livable” environment after the storm?

If You Answer Yes

If you decide to evacuate there are several questions to answer:

·         Where will you go?

·         Will you use a pre-designated shelter?

·         What is the location of the shelter?

·         Are the roads clear between you and the shelter location?

·         How long will it take to evacuate?

·         What will you take with you? (Emergency Kit)

·         How will you care for your pets?

·         What property security needs to be done prior to evacuation?

·         Do you need to notify others that you are evacuating?

If You Answer No

·         Is your home prepared?

·         How long will it take to make it safe to stay?

·         Is rising water now or will it be an issue in your home?

·         How will you cope with family members with special needs?

·         Do you have supplies on hand to “ride-out” a storm?

·         Do you have a safe place for important family document?