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Having an emergency plan for your home and family can greatly increase their chances of escaping an emergency unharmed. Discuss what you and your family would do in certain emergency situations and be sure that everyone in your home is informed of where exits, emergency supplies, and other necessities are located and knows how to use them.
Develop Your Home Emergency Plan
Ask yourself and your family the following questions. If you can answer "yes" to most of the questions below, then you are doing a good job of preparing yourselves for an emergency. If your answers are "no" to all or most of these questions, then discuss (and practice) how you would respond to these emergencies.
- Has your family discussed what to do in case of emergencies?
- Have you covered all emergencies like fire, tornados, and other natural disasters?
- Have you practiced what to do? (For example, during a fire or tornado)
- Do you have smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon alarms in your home and does your family know what do if they go off?
- Does your family know where your first aid and emergency kits are stored and how to use them?
- Can each member of your family tell you two ways out of your home? If your second way out of a two-story home is a window, do you need a safety ladder? If you live in a high-rise, does your family know and practice two ways out of the building? (Remember that an elevator is never a way out during a fire.)
- Can all members of your family operate the locks, windows and doors for escape?
- Does your family understand to leave or seek shelter when an alarm sounds?
- Does each member of your family know where to go after evacuating your home?
- Does each member of your family know who to call for help and are the telephone numbers posted? And does this include whom to call in case of a utility problem?
- Does your family understand that once they are outside, they should stay outside?
- If needed, do members of your family know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity to your home?
- If you have pets, have you provided for them in your home emergency plan?
- Does anyone in your family know first-aid or CPR?
While you cannot predict when you and your family will be faced with an emergency you can be prepared and make the most of your time and supplies.
Next: At-Home Emergency Procedures