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How to Make an Emergency Evacuation Plan for Your Family

No one will ever know when an emergency might strike. This is why it is important that you create your emergency evacuation plan for your own family. Whether the danger is a forest fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or even the threat of a terrorist attack, the chances of you and your family's survival is going to be increased in you have a plan that is in place and you have a well stocked emergency supply kit. Your plan should involve everyone who lives in your home and it should be practiced on a regular basis so that everyone will know the plan well.

The first thing you should do when making your emergency evacuation plan should be to draw up a floor plan for your house and make sure to identify all the doors and the windows people can safely use for emergency exits.

Then you should also identify on this floor plan any and all fire extinguishers that you have in your home and where they are located. If you don't have any, it's a good idea for you to go out and buy some for your home. For a home that is multistory, you should also have portable escape ladders and show where they are stored on your floor plan. You should also show how to shut off all the utilities electric and gas a well as the water.

Make sure that your floor plan for your emergency evacuation plan shows where all of your important family documents are kept. These documents should be things like your bank, credit cared information along with your Social Security information, any insurance polices you have and inventory of all your possessions. You also may want current passports along with birth certificates, health records and the different prescriptions your family may have. Also, don't forget any property deeds you might have. Since you should not put your life in danger trying to get these documents, it's a good idea that they are all together in one place so that they will be easy to grab when you are in a hurry.

It is also important that you have a list of emergency telephone numbers that should even include out of state friends and relatives that you may need to get in touch with when you have to evacuate your home and neighborhood.

You will also need to make sure that your emergency evacuation plan includes a safe place to meet should any family members get separated when you are evacuating. There should also always be a Plan B in case the prearranged meeting place is not available at the time. You might also want to include a third party that you family members can check in with during an emergency. Also include in your emergency evacuation plan where the closest emergency shelter is to your home.

It is important that you write up a set of rules for the children to follow in case of an emergency, for example one key rule might be to tell them not to try to save their toys or don't open up a door if it feels hot or don't cross over a pool of water if you don't know how deep it might be.

Make sure that you have a checklist of all the emergency items you will need such as:

  • Bottled water
  • Battery operated radio
  • Flashlights
  • Spare blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Snacks
  • Matches
  • Small hand tools
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Food for family members and even pets
  • Show on the emergency evacuation plan where the emergency preparedness kit is at.
  • City map with three escape routes highlighted.
Make sure that once you have the plan drawn up, make copies of it and give one to all your family members and make sure there are extras made up and kept somewhere in the home in a place where everyone knows where they are at, like a kitchen drawer.

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