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Family Disaster Planning
Family Disaster Planning |
Disaster Supplies Kit |
Storing Supplies |
Water Storage |
Your Evacuation Plan
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Food and Water in an Emergency
Disaster can strike quickly and without
warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to
your home. What would you do if basic services--water, gas, electricity or
telephones--were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the
scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.
Four Steps to Safety
1. Find Out What Could Happen to You
- Ask what types of disasters are most
likely to happen. Request information on how to prepare for each.
- Learn about your community's warning
signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them.
- Ask about
animal care after a disaster. Animals are not allowed inside emergency
shelters because of health regulations.
- Find out
how to help elderly or disabled persons, if needed.
- Find out about the disaster plans at your
workplace, your children's school or day care center, and other places
where your family spends time.
2. 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 each case.
two places to meet:
- Right outside your home in case of a
sudden emergency, like a fire.
- 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.
3. Complete This Checklist
Home Hazard Hunt
| In a disaster, ordinary items
in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, fall,
break, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.
Repair defective electrical wiring and
leaky gas connections.
Fasten shelves securely.
Place large, heavy objects on lower
Hang pictures and mirrors away from
Brace overhead light fixtures.
Secure water heater. Strap to wall
Repair cracks in ceilings or
Store weed killers, pesticides, and
flammable products away from heat sources.
Place oily polishing rags or waste in
covered metal cans.
Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes,
vent connectors, and gas vents.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones
(fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1
or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
- Show each family member how and when to
turn off the utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main switches.
- Check if you have adequate insurance
- Get training from the fire department for
each family member on 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 places in your home for each
type of disaster.
4. Practice and Maintain Your Plan
- Quiz your kids every six months or so.
- Conduct fire and emergency evacuations.
- Replace stored water and stored food every
- 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.
Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with your neighbors
to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help
arrives. If you're a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a home
association or crime watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new
activity. Know your neighbors' special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and
consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as
disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents
can't get home.
If Disaster Strikes
Remain calm and patient. Put your plan into action.
Check for Injuries
Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.
Listen to Your
Battery-Powered Radio for News and Instructions
Check for Damage in
- Use flashlights. Do not light matches or
turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.
- 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. (You
will need a professional to turn gas back on.)
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches,
gasoline, and other flammable liquids immediately.
- Confine or secure your pets.
- Call your family contact--do not use the
telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
- Check on your neighbors, especially
elderly or disabled persons.
- Make sure you have an adequate water
supply in case service is cut off.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
To get copies of American Red Cross community
disaster education materials, contact Julie Dimitrov at 843.757.7437
The text on this page is in the public
domain. We request that attribution to this information be given as follows:
From "Family Disaster Plan." developed by the
Federal Emergency Management
Agency and the American