Plan how to
take care of your pets.
Pets (other than
service animals) are not permitted to be in places where food is served, according to many local health department regulations.
Plan where you would take your pets if you had to go to a public shelter where they are not permitted.
emergency contact numbers
ambulance, etc. and keep them where they will be clearly seen
You may not have time in an emergency to look up critical numbers.
Ensure all responsible family members know how and when to turn off the water, gas, and
electricity at the main switches or valves.
Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves. Turn off utilities only if you suspect a leak
or damaged lines, or if you are instructed to do so by authorities. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional
to turn it back on.
Paint shut-off valves with white or fluorescent paint to increase visibility. Attach a shut-off valve
wrench or other special tool in a conspicuous place close to the gas and water shut-off valves.
Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
Ask your insurance agent to review your current policies to ensure that they will cover your home and
Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
Smoke alarms minimize your chances of dying in a home fire. Smoke alarms sense abnormal amounts of smoke
or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smouldering and flaming fires. Many areas are now requiring
hard-wired smoke alarms in new homes.
Conduct a home hazard hunt.
During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall,
break, or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example, during an earthquake or a tornado, a hot water heater or a bookshelf
could turn over or pictures hanging over a couch could fall and hurt someone. Look for electrical, chemical, and fire hazards.
Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential
Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three - five days. Assemble a Disaster
Supplies Kit with items you may need in case of an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, clearly labelled, easy-to-carry
containers, such as backpacks or duffel bags.
Keep a smaller Disaster Supplies Kit in your vehicle.
If you become stranded, having these items will help you to be more comfortable and may save your life.
(See emergency vehicle kit)
Store and maintain a portable, battery-operated radio or television and extra batteries.
Maintaining a communications link with the outside is a step that can mean the difference between life
and death. Make sure that all family members know where the portable, battery-operated radio or television is located, and
always keep a supply of extra batteries.
Plan home escape routes.
Determine the best escape routes from your home in preparation for a fire or other emergency that would
require you to leave the house quickly. Find two ways out of each room.
Find the safe places in your home for each type of disaster.
Different disasters often require different types of safe places. While basements are appropriate for
tornadoes, they could be deadly in a major chemical emergency.
Make two photocopies of vital documents and keep the originals in a safe deposit box.
Keep one copy in a safe place in the house, and give the second copy to an out-of-town friend or relative.
Vital documents such as birth and marriage certificates, tax records, credit card numbers, financial records,
and wills and trusts can be lost during disasters.
Make a complete inventory
of your home, garage, and surrounding property.
The inventory can be
either written or videotaped. Include information such as serial numbers, make and model numbers, physical descriptions, and
price of purchases (receipts, if possible). This list could help you prove the value and ownership of your possessions should
they are damaged or destroyed.
maintain your plan.
Practicing your plan
will help you instinctively make the appropriate response during an actual emergency. You will need to review your plan periodically
and you may need to change some parts.
and emergency evacuation drills at least twice a year.
Physically drive evacuation routes, so every family member may familiarise themselves with the route.
Select alternate routes in case the main evacuation route is blocked during an actual disaster. Mark your
evacuation routes on a map and keep the map in your disaster supply kit.
Replace stored food and water every six months.
Replacing your food and water supplies will help ensure freshness.
Test your smoke alarms once a month.
The test feature tests all electronic functions and is safer than testing with a controlled fire (matches,
lighters, or cigarettes). If necessary, replace batteries immediately. Make sure all the family is aware of what your smoke
alarm sounds like.
Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time, it is recommended to replace them every 10 years.
Check fire extinguishers to ensure they are properly charged.
Fire extinguishers will not work properly if they are not properly charged. Use the gauge
or test button to check proper pressure. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for replacement or recharging fire extinguishers.
If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded, replace it or have it professionally serviced.
Listen to local radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
Local officials will provide you with the most appropriate
advice for your particular situation.
Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
Disaster areas and debris contain many hazards. The most common injury following disasters, are to the
Secure your home.
Secure your house as you normally would when leaving for extended periods.
If you have to leave immediately.,
Grab the following items and GO!
First aid kit, including prescription medications, eyeglasses, and hearing aid batteries etc
- Basic disaster Supply kit and Evacuation
- A change of clothes and a sleeping bag
or bedroll including a pillow for each household member.
- Vehicle keys and the keys to the location
you are intending to go to.