Meet with your family members or housemates at least once a year to discuss how each person will respond during an emergency. Make sure that each person is familiar with the plan. Talk about what each person is afraid of, and then explain how your emergency plan and strategy will help lessen their fears.
- Have Emergency Preparedness Essentials in your home, automobile, school, office, vacation home, and rv.
- Draw a floor plan of your home that shows where you can find:
- exits (windows and doors)
- fire extinguisher
- utility cutoffs - water valve, electrical panel, gas valve, floor drain
- first aid kits
- emergency supplies
- Identify safe places in your home and on your property. Plan and practice earthquake “drop, cover, hold” or evacuation drills using different escape routes.
- Determine meeting places, one right outside of the home in case of fire and another outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
- Be aware of the disaster policies and plans at your children’s schools and at your spouse’s or housemate(s)’ workplaces. Ensure you have a designated person to pick up children should you be unavailable.
- Have an “out of town” contact and ensure that all members of the family memorize their number but also give a copy of it and other emergency numbers to each member to carry with them. Following an emergency family members should call this person and tell them where they are, how they are and what their plans are.
- Prepare or update your list of crucial addresses and phone numbers. Make sure family members or housemates have a copy.
- Know how to turn off the gas, water & electricity. Don't turn the gas off unless absolutely necessary-only qualified technicians can turn it on.
- “ICE” your cell phones. Add “in case of emergency” contacts. This helps responders to be able to notify the right person.
- Determine places where your pets can stay.
- Have a current local area map and know your specific evacuation routes and evacuation centers.
- Know the risks in your region - find out if the area where you live is vulnerable to earthquakes, flooding, forest fires, or other threats such as hazardous material spills. Have plans and supplies to address these specific emergencies (i.e. sandbags if you home is prone to flooding).
- Remind everyone that they should call the police, fire department, or other emergency personnel only if there’s a vital need.