General Disaster Planning Tips

  • Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
  • Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen and explain what to do in each case.
  • Pick two places to meet:
  1. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
  2. Outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home. Everyone must know the address and telephone number of the meeting place.
  • Ask a friend who does not live in your area to be your "family contact". Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact`s telephone number.
  • Discuss what to do in an evacuation and plan how to take care of your pets.

You also need to ensure that you:

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 119 or a local ambulance service for emergency help.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off utilities (water and electricity) at the main switches.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Get training from the Fire Department for each family member on how to use the fire extinguisher that you have in your home, and show them where it is kept. •Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supplies kit.
  • Take a first aid and CPR class.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find the safe places in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Quiz your children every few months and change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least anually.

Finally, meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood can work together after a disaster until help arrives. If you are a member of a neighborhood organisation, such as a home association or neighbourhood watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors` special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and consider how you can help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Working with neighbors can save lives and property.

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