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 earthquakes 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
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.
Complete this checklist
- 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
- Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
- Teach 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 Disaster Supplies Kit.
- Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
Practice your plan
- Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
- 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.