In an emergency, it's important to have a plan so you know what to do amid the chaos. A major part of that is an emergency evacuation plan. Understanding your family's evacuation plan can help those you love know how to get out of the house and get out of the city (if needed), even if they're on their own. Evacuation plans can be useful for many different types of disasters: hurricanes, tsunamis, and statistically more common, house fires. House fires are one of the most common disasters people face in this country so it is important that everyone has an evacuation or fire escape plan, and practice it regularly. Watching the Family Emergency Preparedness Plan DVD can be very helpful in designing your plan. Everyone in your family should know the plan, even the little ones, so set aside an evening when the whole family can get together to make your emergency escape plan. Follow these simple steps and you will be ready for an evacuation. In an emergency, every second counts, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Evacuation plans can be life-saving for you and the ones you love. Disasters don't just happen to other people. They are very real and can happen to anyone at any time. Take the time to plan and prepare and you will be very grateful you did. Make a map of your home and include the following:
- Label every exit, including doors, windows, and hallways, which may become a potential fire escape.
- In every room, label the primary exit (usually a door or hallway) and a secondary exit (usually a window) in case the primary exit is blocked by smoke or flames.
- Label every room where a family member sleeps.
- Label the main shutoff valves of the gas, electricity, and water lines.
- Establish a safe meeting place outside the home so everyone can be accounted for. Practice your emergency evacuation plan.
- Involve everyone. It is important for everyone in the family to learn how to escape. You may even want to teach your children how to escape out of windows in case the door is unavailable to exit. A good fire escape ladder is essential if your exit is through a second story window. You may want to arrange the furniture so a dresser or nightstand is under the window to make it easier to escape, especially through basement windows.
- Place your 72 hour kits strategically near an exit so they are easy to grab in a hurry. When you practice, assign certain family members to be in charge of grabbing the emergency kit.
- Practice turning off utilities (gas valves, etc.). Caution: Don't really turn off the gas. If you do the gas company will have to come out and turn it on again. A gas wrench is a useful tool for this.
- Practice other life-saving habits such as always leaving a pair of shoes, gloves and a flashlight or lightstick at each person's bedside.
- Practice with time in mind. Try running through your disaster plan at least 4 times each year and adjust your plan according to the ages of family members.
- Designate an out-of-town and an out-of-state contact person for your family to call in case you separate. Have emergency and contact numbers posted by a phone and have everyone memorize the phone numbers.
- Practice using your 72 hour kit supplies. Make sure you include a good first-aid kit, including Burnfree pain relieving gel.
There are only 2 of us in our home and we are prepared for a crisis.
However, I realized that our 3 dogs were not in the event of a fire.
Now they are. At first before their training they would just sit and look around during the blaring smoke alarm.
Now they leap up and race to the doors ( 2 separate exits) to get out!The big one becomes nervous when one of us remains behind (one of us has to shut off the alarm). He races back into the house and barks insistently at the person left behind.
(that he was not taught). We practice this 4-6 times in a month. They are incredibly estute and now enthusiastic to get out. It is remarkable.
Bruce A. Forster
I’m very grateful that Emergency Essentials produces articles like this! Hurricane Katrina, and the INEPTITUDE of FEMA and others really opened my eyes. As far as storing food is concerned, I’m doing something I’d like to share with all of you. I have dehydrated & Freeze dried foods: Provident Pantry, Mountain House, Wise, etc. What I’m doing is opening them and putting them in VACUUM SEAL BAGS. This accomplishes two things. First, by vacuum sealing them, it extends the time they can be stored. Secondly, it reduces the space needed, so more can be stored in a smaller area. IMAGINE a 20 Gallon plastic storage container filed with these vacuum sealed freeze dried food servings-3 MONTHS worth of food for one person that weighs just 15-20 pounds! By using this method, my three day emergency backpack now holds TEN days worth of food. Something to think about!
I did not know it was fire saefty month! These are good tips and I am glad to say we do have a saefty evacuation plan if we are ever faced with a fire. Just last week in Baltimore a grandmother and 5 grandchildren burn up in a row home because they did not have working smoke detectors. It is so sad because they are so important. We change the batteries in ours every time we change the clocks for the time change.Bobbie recently posted..
Lansing V. Allison
Offically it is still 72 hours of food water and medical supplies as a min. amout to carry but again Hurricane Andrew 1992 it was over 100 days before power was on in Homestyead, FL (The city That got hit not Miami ) most part of the big city never lost power You most state that at home they should at less 6 months of food stored there and/or at the person ’s Alamo their retreat location to be high ground well inland with enough water to keep double amount of their normal summer vacations