Catastrophic events, such as floods, fires, and earthquakes, can happen at any time – day or night. The unexpected nature of these events makes it difficult for individuals and families to plan ahead for ‘the worst’. After all, how can you plan if you don’t know when or what is coming?
Everyone, from those living alone to entire families, should create an escape plan that is used in the event of a fire, earthquake, or flood. Creating such a plan could be the difference between life and death.
Why an Escape Plan is a ‘Must Have’ for Everyone
An emergency plan will give everyone the tools they need to safely evacuate the home and meet at a designated meeting spot should a fire, earthquake, or flood happen. This type of plan is created as a preventative measure to keep everyone safe during emergency situations.
In the event an emergency should happen, the knowledge and tools provided by the emergency plan will help reduce anxiety by guaranteeing that everyone in the family is prepared to act. Everyone safely knows what to do and where to go because the emergency plan was set in place and practiced multiple times in an effort to prepare for the worst.
Creating an Emergency Plan
Every family’s emergency plan will be different based on the structure of the home/apartment, location, and what type of event (fire, flood, earthquake) is happening. Even though each plan will be different, there are still a few things that are similar with every emergency plan.
All emergency plans will include:
Identifying at least two possible exits for each room/area of a home
Creating a centralized meeting spot for all family members
Mapping an ‘escape‘ route out of the home and to the centralized meeting spot
Requiring all members of the family memorize emergency personnel numbers
Assigning a ‘buddy‘ system for anyone – elderly, handicapped individuals, or children – who may have problems executing the emergency plan
Not returning to the home or entering the structure until it has been safely cleared by emergency crews
What to Do After Creating an Exit Strategy
After an emergency plan is created, it is important to make sure that all members of the family are aware of the plan and know what to do. The best way to make sure this happens is to regularly practice all aspects of the emergency plan.
Regularly practicing the emergency plan will help guarantee that everyone knows what to do and is prepared for the unexpected.
Practicing the emergency plan typically includes doing the following:
Practice exiting the room/area from all emergency exits
Walk through the evacuation route
Gather at the designated meeting spot
Reviewing emergency contact phone numbers
There is no way to fully prepare for an unexpected emergency, but creating an emergency plan with your family can help. It will prepare family members with the tools and techniques they need to safely leave a home in the event of a fire, flood, or earthquake.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.