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Disaster Preparedness – Create an Evacuation Plan

Posted on Apr 10, 2012 in Disaster Preparedness

Deborah Tausher, emergency preparedness coordinator, Mills-Peninsula Health Services

In our monthly series of articles about emergency preparedness, Deborah Tauscher, emergency preparedness coordinator at Mills Peninsula Health Services, and Jim Schweikhard, Sutter Health Peninsula Coastal Region environmental health and safety manager, break down disaster preparation into manageable, monthly steps. This month’s task is to develop an evacuation plan.

Envision your escape

The first step is to look for two quick escape routes from each room in your home. In addition to the obvious exit paths, such as doorways, keep in mind that the best escape route in an emergency may be through a window. Also consider whether you will need a ladder or other special equipment to escape.

Floor plan

Depending on the size of your home, it may be a good idea to draw a floor plan, Tauscher says. If your home is multi-level, be sure to include a plan for each story.

Your floor plan should include the locations of items such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers and shutoffs for gas, water and electricity. It is also a good idea to include potential hazards outside your home such as fences, trees and power lines.

A note about fire extinguishers: It is a good idea to keep extinguishers in multiple locations, including the kitchen, garage and each floor of your home.

Practice makes perfect

Remember to agree upon a safe meeting place outside your home, away from any immediate potential danger. It is a good idea to have all family members participate in formulating the plan and, most importantly, practice the plan at least once a year to be sure each family member is familiar and comfortable with the plan.

Missed one of our blog’s monthly emergency preparedness articles? Find them here:

Stay tuned for next month’s blog post: Packing a First Aid Supply Kit

This blog post contributed by Deborah Tauscher, emergency preparedness coordinator at Mills-Peninsula Health Services and Jim Schweikhard, regional environmental health and safety manager.  It is part of a year-long blog series, with a new emergency preparedness post contributed by Deborah and Jim each month.