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Prepare in a Year: Action Plan

posted Mar 1, 2021, 4:56 PM by Ramona Wheeler   [ updated Mar 2, 2021, 10:37 AM ]
Meet with your family and discuss why you need to be prepared for a disaster. Pacific Northwest communities can be subject to many types of disasters and being prepared is wise.

Create a Disaster Plan 
Plan to share the responsibilities in your family's emergency planning and work together as a team. Develop a household communication plan with your family and reunification plan, so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you to re-unite, if you are separated. Discuss the types of possible disasters and decide what to do in each case. Discuss what to do in an evacuation and pick two places to meet:
  1. Right outside your home in case of fire.
  2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number. 
Put Your Plan into Action 
Teach children how and when to call 911. Show them how your cell phone works. Many counties in Washington allow Text to 911 - Call if you can, text if you can’t! Post emergency telephone numbers in a visible location. Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches. Other tips:
  • Check for adequate insurance coverage.
  • Install an ABC fire extinguisher in your home. Teach each family member to use it and where it is kept. 
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home, in appropriate areas.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble disaster supply kits.
  • Take a First Aid and CPR class.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find a safe spot in your home for each type of disaster. 
Practice and Maintain Your Plan 
  • Review your plans every six months so everyone remembers what to do.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguishers, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month; replace batteries every six months.
  • Replace stored water and food every six months to a year, depending on expiration dates.
  • Update plan as necessary. 
What to do NOW 
  1. Learn what types of disasters are likely to happen in your area. 
  2. Learn about your community’s warning signals — What do they sound like and what should you do when you hear them? 
  3. Also, learn which radio stations will provide emergency information for your area. 
  4. Learn about animal care in your area. 
  5. If you are disabled and unable to care for yourself, your planning needs to include your support network who will help you and your household. 
  6. Find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, schools your children attend, and other places your family frequently visits.