Evacuation Floor Plan
Having an evacuation plan is very important for your family. In an emergency, every second counts, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Evacuation plans can be useful for many different types of disasters. Hurricanes, tsunamis and the more important, house fires. House fires are one of the most common disasters people face in this country so it’s important that everyone has an evacuation plan and practices it regularly. Everyone in your family should know the plan, even the little ones, so set aside an evening when the whole family can get together to make a plan. Follow these simple steps and you will be ready for evacuation.
1. Make a map of your home and include the following:
A. Label every exit, including doors, windows and hallways
B. In every room, label the primary exit (usually a door or hallway) and a secondary exit (usually a window) in case the primary exit is blocked by smoke or flame
C. Label every room a family member sleeps in
D. Label the main valves of the gas, electricity and water lines
E. Establish a safe meeting place outside the home so everyone can be accounted for
2. Practice! Practice! Practice!
No evacuation plan will work unless it is practiced on a regular basis.
Involve everyone. It is important for everyone in the family to learn how to escape. You may even want to teach your children how to escape out of their windows in case the door is unavailable to exit. You may want to arrange the furniture so a dresser or nightstand is under the window to make it easier to escape, especially in the basement windows.
Place your 72 hour kits strategically near the exits so they are easy to grab in a hurry. When you practice, assign certain family members to be in charge of grabbing the 72 hour kit.
Practice turning off utilities (gas valves, etc.)
Practice other life-saving habits such as always leaving a pair of shoes and a flashlight at each person’s bedside.
Practice with time in mind. Try running through your plan at least 4 times each year and adjust your plan according to the ages of family members.
3. Other Things to Keep in Mind:
Designate an out-of-town and an out-of-state contact person for your family to call in case you separate, and have everyone memorize the phone numbers.
Practice using your 72 hour kit supplies.
Evacuation plans can be life-saving for you and the ones you love. Disasters don’t just happen to other people. They are very real and can happen to anyone at anytime. Take the time to plan and prepare and you will be very grateful you did.