How to Prepare

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Talk with your family about potential disasters and why it's necessary to prepare for them. Involve each member of your family in the planning process. By showing them simple steps that can increase their safety, you can help reduce their anxiety about emergencies.

  • Select an out-of-state contact person.
  • Create emergency response cards for each of your family members.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Try to identify two escape routes.
  • Locate the gas main and other utilities
  • Plan where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places, one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood in case you are told to evacuate.
  • Make sure everyone knows where to find your disaster supply kit and Go-bags.
  • Have a flashlight and a pair of shoes under everyone’s bed in case there is an earthquake during the night. Use a plastic bag tied to the leg of the bed to keep these items from moving during an earthquake.
  • Make sure each member knows who your family’s out-of-state contact is and instruct them to call this person and tell him/her where they are.
  • Make sure family members know when and how to turn off the gas main and other utilities.
  • Practice your evacuation routes.
  • Practice Drop, Cover & Hold On and Stop, Drop & Roll drills.
  • Teach each member of your family how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Be sure your gas tank is always at least half full.
  • Take into account the special needs of children, seniors or people with disabilities, family members who don’t speak English and pets.