Talk with your family about potential disasters and why it's necessary to prepare for them. Involve each member of your family in the planning process. By showing them simple steps that can increase their safety, you can help reduce their anxiety about emergencies.
- Make sure everyone knows where to find your disaster supply kit and go-bags.
- Plan where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe. Choose 2 places, 1 just outside your home and 1 outside your neighborhood in case you are told to evacuate. Be sure your gas tank is always at least half full.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Try to identify 2 escape routes.
- Make sure each member knows who your family's out-of-state contact is and instruct them to call this person and tell him/her where they are.
- Locate the gas main and other utilities and make sure family members know when and how to turn them off.
- Practice your evacuation routes, as well as drop, cover, and hold and stop, drop, and roll drills.
- Teach each member of your family how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Create emergency response cards for each of your family members.
- Take into account the special needs of children, seniors, people with disabilities, family members that don't speak English, and pets.