More than 80% of Americans live in counties that have experienced a weather-related disaster.1  However, only 39% of Americans have created an emergency plan for their households.1  While it's almost impossible to predict when an emergency or natural disaster will occur, creating a plan may help keep your family safe in the event of one. The better prepared you are, the more comfortable you will be if you have to put your plan into action. 

 

KNOW THE RISKS

No matter where you live, your region may be susceptible to one or more emergency situations or weather hazards, including: earthquakes, wildfires, fooding, tornadoes, hurricanes or blizzards. Although some of these events - like hurricanes - may provide some advanced warning, other - like earthquakes - are hard to predict. Most of these occurances may lead to extend power outages; however, if you live in an area where they are likely, having a plan will help you prepare for the next event. 

Other emergencies can happen at any time, such as a house or building fire. Common causes include faulty appliances, electrical components and smoking. In fact, cooking equipment was the cause of 45% of home structure fires from 2009-2013.

 

DECIDE ON AN EMERGENCY MEETING PLACE

Emergency situations are chaotic. In the midst of the confusion, it can be difficult to get in touch with loved ones. Decide on a meeting place with your family ahead of time to reduce some of the initial stress. Choose three locations: one in the neighborhood, one in your town and one out-of-town, and make sure everyone knows how to get there. Your safe area may vary depending on the emergency - for example, in the event of a tornado or hurricane, stay away from windows and take cover in an interior room of your home or building, on the lowest floor. 

 

MAKE A PLAN

Make a plan that outlines all the information you'll need to know in the event of an emergency. Not only will it help you get to a safe location, it'll also allow you to let your loved ones know you're safe.

1. Create a spreadsheet that includes:

  • Names and nicknames of each family memeber
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Names of doctors
  • Places of work
  • School

2. Plan a safe evacuation route

If you're home when an emergency occurs, you may have to evacuate with little to no notice. Select several safe evacuation routes, and make sure everyone is familiar with them. 

3. Assign roles

Have someone turn off the utilities, like water and electricity, while another person packs the important documents and another grabs pets. Giving everyone a responsibility will ensure nothing important is left behind. 

 

Check out the PDF link below for MANY ideas on how to prepare for any emergency, including how to plan for your Pet!

 

PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY - PDF

 

Visit www.ready.gov/make-a-plan to download an emergency plan template you can tailor to your family's needs!

 

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