Develop a Family Emergency Plan

Emergencies can happen at any time and impact our daily lives. They can be man-made disasters, or weather-related, like flooding and ice storms, extended power outages, and disease outbreaks. Emergencies can last a few hours or several weeks. You and your family need to be ready no matter what the emergency. Get informed about hazards and emergencies that may affect you and your family.
  • Develop an emergency plan.

  • Collect and assemble disaster supplies kit.
  • Learn where to seek shelter from all types of hazards.
  • Identify the community warning systems and evacuation routes.
  • Include in your plan required information from community and school plans.
  • Learn what to do for specific hazards.
  • Practice and maintain your plan.
How Safe Is Your Home?
Every day in the US, there are more than 1,000 home fires. Have everyone in your family answer these questions. Every “NO” answer points to a fire hazard.
  1. Do you test your smoke detectors monthly? Do they all have working batteries? Are they less than 10 years old?
  2. Are there smoke detectors on every level of your home, and in every sleeping area?
  3. Do you always extinguish candles before leaving the room?
  4. Does everyone in the family know two ways out of every room, and do you practice fire escape drills at least twice a year?
  5. Are all extension cords in good condition and designed for the device(s) plugged into them? Are they all in the open — not run under rugs, over hooks, or through doorways?
  6. Do you have a family meeting place outside of the home, where all family members know to gather in case of a fire?
  7. Do you always turn off the stove/oven before leaving the kitchen? Do you turn off the dryer before leaving the house?
  8. Do you always clean the lint trap in your dryer before each use?
  9. Do you have your fireplace, woodstove, furnace, hot water heater and chimney inspected annually to make sure they are operating properly?
  10. If you smoke, do you only smoke outside the home? Do you always fill the ashtray with water prior to disposing of butts in the garbage? Does your home have a strict No Smoking In Bed rule?
  11. If you store gasoline for a lawn mower, etc., is it kept outside the home, in a shed or detached garage?
  12. Do you store paints or other flammable liquids only in their original containers, and are they kept away from all possible ignition sources?

What to Do in Case of Fire
  1. Stay calm — escape may depend on clear thinking.
  2. Get out and stay out. Do not stop to collect any personal items, and never go back inside.
  3. Call 911 from outside, using a cell phone, or neighbor’s phone. Do not stay in the house to call 911.
  4. Open doors carefully, and only after feeling them to see if they are hot. If they are, use an alternate escape route.
  5. Crawl in smoke-filled environments. Smoke is toxic, and will rise. The best air to breathe will be close to the floor.
  6. Close doors behind you as you exit to contain the fire.
  7. Go to your family meeting place and make certain everyone is accounted for. Report this immediately to the fire department when they arrive.
  8. If your escape is blocked by the fire, get as far away from the fire as possible, closing all doors as you go. Call 911 and give your exact location inside the house, we will come and get you.