“Evacuate immediately if told to do so, as delaying could risk your life”
Talk with your family about what you would do during, and immediately after a disaster, regardless of where you may be.
Practice Drop, Cover and Hold On (as you would during an earthquake, so everyone knows what to do).
Make sure everyone knows how to text, as voice messages or calls may not be operational after a large-scale disaster
Designate a meeting place where you will all reunite if you are not together during the disaster. Perhaps at a nearby church, school or Community Center.
Identify an out-of-area contact, since you may have a better chance of getting a phone call to connect to a telephone number 200 miles away than a local number. This contact person can pass information on to the rest of the family that you are okay. Make sure that your child has this number in their school backpack.
Know your children’s school plan and what you need to do to check them out if students are to be dismissed.
Complete an Emergency Contact Card for each member of the family
Register your cell phone numbers with ACAlert to receive emergency notifications.
Make copies of important documents and photos. They can be scanned and stored on a portable hard drive or online storage service. This might include passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, insurance and mortgage papers.
Consider getting earthquake insurance and/or look into renter’s insurance
Take photos or home movies of your home and possessions and store those in a place other than your home
If You Are Told to PREPARE to Evacuate
Listen to your local radio and follow directions of local emergency officials
Alert your neighbors to the danger, especially if they are seniors, disabled or children who may be home alone
Move your car off the street so that you do not block emergency vehicles
Park your car in your driveway with the front facing the street. Leave keys in the ignition. Roll up windows.
Get dressed in cotton or wool long pants, long sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. Carry gloves, handkerchief or mask to cover your face, goggles, and flashlight.
Assemble your irreplaceable possessions (photo albums, original art, computer records, insurance records, etc.). Use your Grab and Go Checklist
Prepare to evacuate on foot. Use your garbage cans on wheels to cart items if necessary.
Take your pets with you if you can
Post a note telling others when you left and where you are going
When You Evacuate
If you are driving, get off the road and out of the way when confronted by approaching fire trucks
If the roads out of your neighborhood become impassable due to abandoned vehicles or the approaching fire, evacuate on foot or bicycle using pre-determined routes to arrive at a pre-determined family meeting place. This could be a community center, school, or park, or wherever you family has decided to meet after an evacuation. Your decision at the time may be determined by the event and location of the threat.
Do not leave your car where it will block the road or hinder firefighters
If a Fire Breaks Out in Your Home
Call 911. Call out or account for all family members and pets
Test doors for heat using the back of your hand. If you feel any heat, do not open the door, and use an alternate exit.
If door is cool, open carefully, checking for smoke or flames.
Crawl with your head 12 – 24 inches above the ground to stay under the smoke.
Once you are out of a burning building, do not go back inside for any reason.
Meet your family in a designated meeting place.
Evacuation Backpack or Go Pack
Your Evacuation Backpack contains those things you want to take with you that will help keep you and your family safe during an evacuation, as well as help speed your recovery from a disaster. Most items in this kit will easily fit into a medium size duffle bag or backpack. You may find many of these items around your house, but in an emergency evacuation you may not have time to gather all of them. Add to the list as you see fit. Original documents such as birth, marriage and death records should be kept in a safe deposit box away from your home.
Assemble a Backpack or Go Bag for each member of your family.
A copy of your Grab and Go Checklist also known as the top 10 list of irreplaceable possessions that you will take if you have time to evacuate via a vehicle (note the item and where it is located in your house to save time.
A copy of the Evacuation Plan Checklist to guide you during your evacuation.
Basic personal hygiene items for all family members (washing, shaving, dental, eye-care, sanitary)
Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
Flashlight, batter-operated radio, extra batteries and extra cell phone charger
Safety goggles, cotton gloves and dust mask for each family member to protect against smoke and heat in case of evacuating during a large fire
One change of clothes for each family member (focus on socks and underwear first)
Pet leash and/or carrying box and small amount of pet food
List of important phone numbers, including your designated out-of-area contact
Emergency Contact Cards
Grab & Go Checklist
Things that you will need to take at the last minute. Your Grab and Go List is a prioritized list of irreplaceable possessions that you will take if you have time to evacuate. Often called the Top 10 in 10, think about what 10 items you would take if you had 10 minutes to evacuate. Ideally, you should note the item and where it is located in your house to save time. You may also want to create a separate list for each family member.
Keep a copy of all lists in your Evacuation Backpack so you can easily locate them during an evacuation. Add to the list as you see fit.
Wallet with Driver’s License and checkbook
Credit and debit cards
Cash in small denominations and change for pay telephones
Eyeglasses and other medical aids
Cell phone and chargers (electrical charger, car charger, and solar charger)
Computer or computer backup media with cords (i.e., portable hard drive, USB drive, etc.)
Emergency Plan contact list with out-of-state contact information