Disaster can strike at any time. Depending on where you live, the disaster could be a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, flood or fire. It is important for you and your family to develop a disaster preparedness plan and conduct emergency drills. Then, if a disaster occurs, your family will have supplies and procedures in place in the event help is not readily available. When disaster hits, planning ahead may save your life.
Know the disasters that could hit where you live. You can get this information from the local Red Cross or your local emergency management office.
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Plan an escape route in case of fire. There should be two exits from every room. Draw the escape route out so kids can see and know where to go.
Plan an evacuation route in case you need to leave the area. Know the nearest shelter and area you should head to in case a natural disaster strikes.
Put together a disaster supply kit. This kit should include first aid supplies, water and nonperishable food that does not need to be cooked or refrigerated. You may also want to include family documents, insurance papers and wills. Keep the supply kit in an easy-to-access area inside a container that you can grab quickly if you're leaving your house.
Make sure everyone in your family is aware of the escape and evacuation routes and the location of the disaster supply kit.
Practice your plan and check supplies on a routine basis. The more prepared your family members are, the better they will be able to handle an emergency situation.
You can request a copy of "Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness" from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, by calling (800) 480-2520.