Emergency Preparation Checklist
Emergencies happen quickly and by their very nature, they happen without warning Therefore, you have to be prepared at all times. Having an emergency preparation checklist can help you evaluate your status at a moment’s notice. It is important that every member of your family or group have access to the list.
Your home is typically, where you will do most of your planning. However, the checklist should also include plans for what to do if a family member is at work or school.
1. You will need to have alternative routes to and from the workplace and schools in the event the roads, bridges or highways are damaged
2. You should have in your vehicle an extra cell phone battery, flashlight, a phone charger, important phone numbers to include contact information for school officials, walking shoes and clothes appropriate for the season.
• An evacuation plan is important. You must have an area where everyone gathers in the home during an emergency
• Know what exits to use and include windows. If you have a multi-story home, have emergency ladders in each bedroom for emergency evacuation out an upper story window. You must have drills so everyone has a chance to use the ladders.
• Know how to shut off the main gas line at the meter, keep a tool and flashlight by the back door so you can find the meter in the dark and can shut the line off. You can keep tools and a light in the meter box if so equipped but most meters are exposed to the elements. Also, have a flashlight by the main electrical breaker.
• Check off the hot water tank when you have strapped it to the wall it so it will not topple over causing flooding
• Know how to find the emergency evacuation routes out of your area and know where all emergency shelters are located
• Make sure you have adequate emergency supplies of food, water and first aid kits.
• Have your emergency supplies packed so they can be easily carried in the event you have to evacuate
• Have important documents in one place and protected from water and other damage and make sure they can be gathered and carried with you
• Have a staging area outside of the home if it becomes damaged
• Make sure you have ample propane if you have an outdoor grill this may be your only means of cooking
• If possible, store emergency supplies in various locations such as a secure shed away from the home or in a detached garage in the event your home is damaged. This protects some of your emergency provisions. Make a point to gather large water storage containers such as 50-gallon food grade plastic barrels. Redundancy is the best back up plan so if one cache of supplies is damaged you must have another close by, and the same theory applies to staging areas and emergency exits always have an alternative.
• Make sure you vehicle is always ready to go
The checklist list is not comprehensive so you have to make adjustments for specific disasters such as earthquakes, so check off that no bedrooms have wall-mounted televisions, or have wardrobes or bureaus that can topple onto a sleeping person. Make sure your safe room does not have skylights, outside walls or brick fireplaces.
Outside your home trim or remove trees or branches that can fall and damage your home. If you have a privacy or security fence around your home and it has a locking gate make sure all family members know where the key is because if members have to evacuate out of an upper story window you do not want them trapped in the backyard.