KNOW THE RISKS
No matter where you live, your region may be susceptible to one or more emergency situations or weather hazards, including: earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, storm surges and winter storms. Although some of these events— like winter storms—may provide some advanced warning, others—like earthquakes—are hard to predict. Most of these occurrences may lead to extended power outages; however, if you live in an area where they are likely, having a plan will help you prepare for the next event.
Other emergencies can happen at any time, such as a house or building fire. Common causes include faulty appliances, electrical components and smoking. In fact, cooking equipment is the leading cause of house fires.
DECIDE ON AN EMERGENCY MEETING PLACE
Emergency situations are chaotic. In the midst of the confusion, it can be difficult to get in touch with loved ones. Decide on
a meeting place with your family ahead of time to reduce some of the initial stress. Choose three locations: one in the neighbourhood, one in your town and one out-of-town, and make sure everyone knows how to get there. Your safe area may vary depending on the emergency—for example, in the event of an earthquake, stay away from exterior walls, windows, glass, fireplaces and appliances. Instead, get under a desk or table and hold onto it until the shaking stops.
MAKE A PLAN
Make a plan that outlines all the information you’ll need to know in the event of an emergency. Not only will it help you get to a safe location, it’ll also allow you to let your loved ones know you’re safe.
1. Create a spreadsheet that includes:
• Names and nicknames of each family member
• Phone numbers
• Email addresses
• Names of doctors
• Places of work
2. Plan a safe evacuation route.
If you’re home when an emergency occurs, you may have to evacuate with little to no notice. Select several safe evacuation routes, and make sure everyone is familiar with them.
3. Assign roles.
Have someone turn off the utilities, like water and electricity, while another person packs the important documents and another grabs pets. Giving everyone a responsibility will ensure nothing important is left behind.
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