Create a Home Emergency Exit Plan
Take time now to create an emergency evacuation plan to employ in the event of a fire, disaster or other emergency. Make sure each family member understands the plan and be sure to practice the plan often.
Create the Plan
Draw a floor plan of your residence. Mark two escape routes from each room, in case of flooding. If your home has more than one story, make sure there is a way to safely exit the upper floors.
Place a copy in each room in an obvious location — near the door, on a bulletin board, etc. — and tell each family member about the escape route plan. (Let your kids decide where to hang the escape plan in their rooms but make sure to make it's visible.).
Designate a place for family to meet outside the neighborhood. Make sure all family members know the address and phone number.
WHN Tip: Remind your kids to stay in that spot until they are told by firefighters or police that it is OK to move.
Involve the kids. Have them color in their escape routes (remember they have to have two exits to color in).
WHN Tip: Make sure your meeting place is away from the road and driveway. First responder vehicles will use these.
Rehearse the Plan
Practice your escape plan every month Make sure windows and doors aren't stuck and that screens can be removed.
WHN Tip: Practice using all exits from every room and time yourself to see how long it takes for everyone to get outside.
Practice at night to see how long family members take to wake up, react and get moving.
WHN Tip: You should also practice blindfolded. This mimics the darkness of smoke, which makes it very difficult to see anything as you try to get out.
Think Beyond Your Home
Know the emergency response plan for your workplace, your children's school or day-care center, as well as other places where your family spends time.
Also, meet with neighbors either informally or through a neighborhood group to create a neighborhood preparedness plan. Learn what neighbors or relatives may require extra assistance.
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