Home Emergency Evacuation Planning
Home Emergency Evacuation Plan
Develop your home emergency evacuation plan. Draw a diagram of your home-be sure to show alternative living spaces such as the attic, basement etc… that someone may be in during an emergency evacuation. Some suggested products are linked here so that you will be able to browse all the products in that class and find the best fit for your situation. Some things to include:
- Make the map appropriate to the youngest members of your household (pics vs words for the youngest). There are lots of free resources online to help you either draw or design one. This is a great project for school age kids as it makes them more familiar with the home and the escape routes as well as employs computer/art and math skills.
- The map should include all windows, doors and furniture (the big stuff mainly). The more detailed the layout, the better chance that everyone will remember it when danger strikes.
- Decide on multiple routes of egress. Pick two main ones using doors on opposite sides of the house. Then draw them on your map.
- Look at the windows in your home. Are they big enough to allow for an evacuation? Would they be safe to use in the event of an emergency? Will you need to get a fire ladder or leave a piece of furniture near the window so you could safely evacuate bedrooms? Will you be able to get small children out quickly and safely? https://amzn.to/3fgvKNn https://amzn.to/2Wy4gtZ
- Stairs present special challenges in an emergency. Be sure to include a plan to avoid the stairs all together during an evacuation. Again a fire ladder may need to be purchased for upstairs bedrooms. A ladder or climbable furniture may need to be left near a basement window.
- Put ABC Fire Extinguishers on your map (hint they should be at the exits of your home). Remember fire extinguishers are for life safety and not saving your property. A kitchen fire extinguisher (often white in color)should be located in your kitchen so that a small kitchen fire does allow the cooking fire grow (grease is especially challenging and that is why they make the special fire extinguishers).
- Smoke Detectors/Carbon Monoxide detectors. They should be in every living space and in every bed room. Use the 10 year lithium battery type so that you do not forget to change the batteries. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PC5S0PA/ref=as_sl_pc_as_ss_li_til?tag=20lobb70-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=dce11d0b006e5c1a779ffc490583cace&creativeASIN=B00PC5S0PA
- Emergency Lights in every room. Manufactures have created many types, look for ones that charge all the time and come on automatically during a power failure. Put their location on your escape route map. https://amzn.to/2W4dvTA
- Have the adults walk through the plan using all the safety equipment before having the children try it. Take note of any changes that need to be made.
- Have a primary and secondary meeting place should you not all be able to leave the house at the same time or the same exit (eg we meet at Mr. Smith’s big cherry tree next door).
- Walk through your plan with all members of the household taking lead at least once.
- Hold a drill with your family during an unanticipated time (preferably when everyone is in their own rooms). Use the test button on your smoke detector to start the drill. Be sure to alert any neighbors that live close by so they do not call the fire department. Making the drill realistic will trigger muscle memory if the alarm sounds when you are sleeping.
- Discuss what types of emergencies that could lead to an evacuation vs. which types of emergencies should one stay in their home (tornado/hurricane/shelter-in-place).
*Develop your entire plan and post it in a binder or emergency planner. https://amzn.to/2SD5TFo
See also http://emergencyprep.xyz/family-emergency-communication-plan-template/ for a template for family communications during an emergency.