With absolutely no warning, your daily routine can be disrupted by a natural emergency or a catastrophic event. Immediate help may not be available, so being prepared is essential to your safety. Try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. If these services are not available, follow the steps below to ensure your safety at home.
Have a Family Disaster Plan
- Know what emergencies or disasters are likely to occur in your community.
- Figure out where the safest place is in your home. In some cases it will be a basement, but in others it may be an accessible roof or patio. A local community center or shelter might be an even safer option.
- Make sure that everyone in your household has practiced the emergency plan and knows your designated meeting place in the event of an emergency.
- Choose two places to meet depending on the type of emergency: outside the front of your home or somewhere specific outside your neighborhood in case you have to evacuate and cannot return home.
- Choose an out-of-area emergency friend or family member who can help during a disaster.
- Ensure that at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR.
Prepare a Go Bag
In case of an emergency, gather at least four days of supplies for each household member in an easy-to-carry go bag. Store the bag in an accessible place and remember to restock your supplies every six months. Essential items to include in your home emergency kit include:
- battery-powered radio
- cell phone
- emergency blanket
- emergency contact information
- first aid kit
- hygienic supplies
- medical supplies
- multipurpose tool
- personal documents
Additional Safety Checks
- Strategically place fire extinguishers throughout the house and teach each family member how to use them.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test the alarms monthly.
- Check if you have insurance coverage to cover fire, flooding or structural damage to your home and property.
After an Emergency
- If you evacuated the area, wait for local authorities to announce the “all clear” letting you know it’s safe to return to your home.
- Check for damage in your home and property.
- Clean up spilled bleach, gasoline and other hazardous or flammable liquids immediately.
- Repair, remove or block off access to anything in your home that is damaged and could cause injuries.
- Call your contacts and other family members to let them know that you are safe.
- Check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly or disabled.