What is a Safety Plan for Your Family?

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Every family should have a safety plan in place in case of an emergency. A safety plan is a set of steps that you and your family can follow to stay safe during and after a disaster. Disasters can happen anywhere, at any time. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. A safety plan can help you and your family stay safe during and after a disaster.

What should be included in your family’s safety plan?

Your safety plan should be customized to fit your needs and the needs of your family. It should include:

  • A list of emergency contacts
  • A place to meet if you are separated
  • A plan for evacuation and home security
  • A plan for communication
  • A plan for caring for pets and livestock
  • Information on how to stay safe during specific disasters

How to create a safety plan that works for your family

Follow these steps to create a safety plan that works for your family:

  1. Gather information about hazards in your area.
  2. Identify what you and your family need to do to stay safe during each type of hazard.
  3. Choose an out-of-state contact who can be your family’s point of contact during an emergency.
  4. Practice your safety plan with your family so everyone knows what to do.
  5. Update your safety plan regularly as your needs change.

Creating a safety plan is an important step in keeping your family safe during and after a disaster. Taking the time to create a plan now can help you peace of mind in knowing that you and your family are prepared.

What to do if an emergency occurs

If an emergency occurs, follow the steps in your home safety plan. If you need to evacuate, do so immediately. If you can’t evacuate, take shelter in a safe location. Once you are in a safe location, stay there until it is safe to leave. Stay tuned to local news and weather reports for updates on the situation.

Tips for staying safe during a natural disaster

There are some specific things you can do to stay safe during different types of natural disasters.

Tornadoes

  • If you are inside, go to a room on the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or storm cellar. If you don’t have a basement, go to an inner hallway or closet on the lowest level.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a table or desk.
  • Cover your head and body with blankets or pillows to protect yourself from flying debris.

Hurricanes

  • If you are in a hurricane warning area, evacuating is the best way to stay safe.
  • If you can’t evacuate, go to a small interior room on the lowest level of your home.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Close all hurricane shutters or cover windows with plywood.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if instructed to do so.

Floods

  • If you are in a flood warning area, evacuating is the best way to stay safe.
  • If you can’t evacuate, go to a small interior room on the highest level of your home.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Do not try to drive through floodwaters. Turn around and go another way.

Wildfires

  • If you are in a wildfire warning area, evacuating is the best way to stay safe.
  • If you can’t evacuate, go to a small interior room on the lowest level of your home.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Close all gaps around doors and windows with wet towels or sheets.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if instructed to do so.

Earthquakes

  • If you are inside, drop to the ground and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture.
  • Stay away from windows, outside walls, and anything that could fall on you, such as a bookcase or china cabinet.
  • If you are outdoors, stay in an open area away from buildings, power lines, and trees.
  • If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines.

No matter what type of disaster you are facing, the best way to stay safe is to be prepared. By taking the time to create a safety plan and staying informed about hazards in your area, you can ensure that you and your family are ready for anything.