14 step for family Disaster Recovery Plan
- Meet with everyone in your household and discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to occur in your area. Work together to decide what to do in each case. Write your plan down on paper, and keep it in your family files.
- Since disasters often strike entire communities rather than just a single home, share your plan with neighbors and encourage them to develop their own plan. Share your plan with family members or friends living outside your town.
- Select two places to meet if an emergency strikes. In case of sudden emergencies, such as a fire, pick a spot in the neighborhood outside your home. In a widespread emergency when you can't get back home, pick a spot outside your neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows the address and phone number.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. Ask an out-of-town family member or friend to be your "family contact." When family members become separated, they should check in with the contact and say where they are. Everyone must know the contact's name, address, phone numbers (including work, home and cell) and e-mail address.
- Plan how to take care of your pet. If you are displaced from your home, you may need to stay temporarily with other people in a shelter. Shelters usually do not allow pets.
- Create a plan that includes how to care for any elderly or disabled persons in your house or neighborhood. To learn more, check out the link below.
- Post emergency telephone numbers (fire, police, ambulance, etc.) by your phones.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
- Check batteries in smoke alarms, flashlights and radios. Change these batteries at least once a year.
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. A smoke alarm should also be in your bedroom if you sleep with your bedroom door closed.
- Have a fire extinguisher in the home and know how to use it. Local fire departments will show you how.
- Know where the safe places are in your home for each kind of disaster. Plan escape routes out of the house and, if possible, two ways out of each room.
- Know how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches or valves and teach others as appropriate. Remember: You will need a professional to turn your gas back on, so do not turn it off unless you suspect a leak or have been advised by authorities to do so.
- Keep your records safe. Make two photocopies of vital documents and put one in a safe deposit box, another in a safe place in the house (such as in your disaster supplies kit), and/or give a copy to an out of town friend or relative.
edited from American Red Cross
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