Wednesday, September 22, 2010
So you’ve built your disaster kit and done your research on local emergency resources. You should be good to go for a disaster right? Not exactly. Laying out a plan is essential to preparing for a disaster, especially when you have more than yourself to worry about.
When disaster hits, you may have little or no time to react. In advance, sit down with all members of your household to decide on the following:
Meeting Places—1. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency. 2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Make sure everyone knows the address and how to get there (Google Maps!) and has a phone number for the home/facility.
Escape Plan—Draw out a floor plan of your residence marking the locations of doors, windows, stairways, furniture and emergency supplies. Identify two escape routes from each room. Windows do count, so if you or a member of your household does not live on the ground floor, consider purchasing a collapsible escape ladder.
Attention to Details—Don’t forget to plan for people with mobility problems. Make more than one exit wheelchair-accessible just in case the primary exit is blocked.
Drills—Practice may not make you perfect, but it will make you more able to deal with an actual emergency. Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills each year. This will help you identify problem areas that could become an issue during real emergencies.
Find more on how to create your disaster plan at www.redcross.org.