Emergency situations can happen in your home at any time. When a natural disaster strikes such as a tornado, blizzard, fire or hurricane, you should be prepared and know what home safety procedures to follow. When you know how to remain safe during an emergency, you are able to keep your family safe and reach out to help those around you as well.
Check all fire and smoke alarms in your house every month to make sure they are operational. You should put together an escape plan with your family to make sure everyone knows where to go if a fire happens, and where you all plan to meet outside the home. Part of your plan should be attending to the very young and elderly occupants of your home. Have a fully charged fire extinguisher on hand in your home to put out small fires. In case of a fire, be sure to stay as low to the floor as possible when getting out of the house to reduce your exposure to smoke.
A tornado can strike quickly, so have a plan in place to act on immediately if there is a tornado warning. If you have time to evacuate the area, do so as soon as possible. If you are in your home when a tornado strikes, find a room with as few windows as possible and stand in the doorway. A closet can be a good place to find refuge from a tornado, or if you have an older cast-iron bathtub, get in the bathtub and cover yourself with a heavy blanket.
Avoid going outside during a blizzard as much as possible. If you must go outside, cover as much of your exposed skin as possible to protect from frostbite. When a blizzard warning is announced on the news, make sure to stock up on food supplies such as water, bread and anything that does not need to be cooked. You may lose power during the blizzard, and you would be unable to cook food until power is restored. If the power goes out during a blizzard, close the doors to unused rooms and stuff towels under the doors to prevent the hot air from getting into those rooms. Try to preserve as much heat as you can when your furnace goes out. Have flashlights with good batteries, or candles and matches, available at all times.
Do not ignore a hurricane evacuation notice. Leave as soon as possible. If you cannot evacuate, cover all of your windows with plywood. Stay away from the windows during the storm. Remain in the center of the room. Have several days worth of fresh water available, and stock up on non-perishable foods.
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