by Ed Castellanos
Emergency situations such as fire, extreme weather and power outages can happen without warning. By taking the time to prepare for a possible disaster now, you and your family will be equipped to handle a crisis if one ever occurs.
Fire Escape Route and Meeting Spot
It can take a mere five minutes for a fire to engulf your entire home. This is one reason having an escape plan is so important. Include at least two exit routes in your plan in case one is blocked, and designate a safe location for everyone in your household to meet. Identifying a secondary location outside your neighborhood is good to have in the event it’s not safe to return or you’re asked to evacuate.
List of Emergency Contacts
Make laminated cards with a list of important phone numbers for each family member. This might include contact information for the local authorities and emergency services as well as your nearest relatives.
Home Safety Items
Be prepared in case an emergency does occur by having these home safety items:
• Fire Extinguisher — Keep one on each floor, and check them annually to make sure they’re functioning properly.
• First-Aid Kit — Store it in a central location, such as the kitchen, and make sure everyone knows where it is.
• Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors — Install detectors in each room and test them once a month. Use long-life lithium batteries to cut back on replacements.
• Food and Water — Put together a three-day supply of nonperishable foods and at least three gallons of water for each member of your household.
There’s often very little time to react in a crisis. But with a little planning and prep work, you can be well-equipped and ready to respond accordingly.