Emergencies happen when we don't expect them, don't wait until it’s too late! Make an emergency plan to protect yourself and your family in time of an emergency. Emergencies can happen quickly and without warning and many times happen when you are not together with your family. Having a plan, in advance, that everyone in the family is aware of and understands will help reduce some of the stress following an emergency occurring.
You can begin this process by having a family meeting and making sure each person is well-informed on potential hazards that can occur locally. Discuss with them what each family member should do during an emergency and immediately following.
Additionally, your family plan should address the following:
· Escape routes: Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
· Meeting areas: Establish a place near the home or outside the immediate area to meet in the event of an emergency and evacuation. For example, the next door neighbor’s telephone pole (near the home) or the neighborhood grocery store parking lot (outside the immediate area).
· Evacuation plans: When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media, door-to-door notification or citizen telephonic notification system such as Burbank Community Alert. (To register and receive alerts SMS text message, cell phone, email and land-line telephone visit ReadyBurbank.org/alert).
· If the family is separated: Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations. Complete a contact card for each family member. Have family members keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, backpack, etc. Pick a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. By choosing an out-of-state contact, the likelihood of that person being impacted by the disaster is reduced; this person becomes a conduit for family members to relay information back and forth as family members check in with this person.