When a disaster or emergency occurs, the first priority is life safety.
One of the ways to ensure you and your family remain safe is to be prepared by developing and practicing your family emergency plan. Critical to every emergency plan is an evacuation plan as many emergencies can require you to leave your home. In some cases, you may have a couple of days to prepare for an evacuation while other situations require you to immediately evacuate. Make sure to plan ahead so no matter when you have to evacuate you can do so safely and smoothly.
Don’t wait for a disaster or emergency to happen to make your evacuation plan --- do it today.
Begin by researching and learning what types of disasters are most likely to occur in your community. If there is flood, do you know where to go to get higher ground? What about wildland fires, do you know where ways to get out of your neighborhood?
Plan ahead for emergencies. Sign up today to receive emergency alerts. Then plan evacuation routes by mapping ways to get out of your home, routes to leave your neighborhood and roads that lead out of your city/town. You should plan alternate routes, just in case your preferred route is blocked or closed. If you do not have a vehicle, plan routes that you can leave on foot. Make sure all members of your family are included in the planning of the evacuation plan and then practice it.
Identify places you can go should you have to leave your home. Check with family and friends to see if they would be able to accommodate you and your family should you have to leave home. Learn what shelter options are available in your community and what restrictions they may have. If you have pets, make sure to find out if the community shelters will allow them in. If not, consider alternate locations for your pets.
Make sure to assemble a 72-hour kit and have it readily available in the event you are required to evacuate. Make sure to include items in your emergency kit to protect you and your family from the coronavirus. Put masks, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and general household cleaners in your kit.
If you have a vehicle, make sure it has gas as gas stations could be closed during an emergency.
During an evacuation, make sure to listen to the radio to hear instructions on where and how to evacuate. Make sure to follow the evacuation instructions. In the event of an inclement weather evacuation, make sure to leave early to avoid getting caught in bad weather. Keep alert to any hazards that may exist along the way including washed out roads, downed power lines and debris on the road.
If you have time before leaving your home, make sure to unplug all electronic equipment such as TVs, radios and small appliances. Leave a note indicating where you are going and what time you left. Lock and close all doors and windows at your home before leaving. Check with neighbors to make sure they have a way to evacuate.
After an emergency, make sure to find out when it is safe to return to your home.
Plan ahead for emergencies, map your evacuation route today.