It sounds a bit daunting, and might seem dramatic, but it’s important to know how to evacuate your home in the event of an emergency. In this case, we’ll focus on fire and floods, two potentially-catastrophic events that are becoming more powerful and more frequent. Whether you’re new to your home, or you know the layout like the back of your hand, an easy-to-understand evacuation plan will come in handy.
An evacuation plan is exactly what it sounds like: a plan outlining the fastest way out of your house in an emergency. You should create your evacuation plan with different scenarios in mind – for example, if you have a few days to pack up and leave, or if you need to get out immediately. Your plan should include things like how you’ll gather your family members, which supplies to take with you, and where you’ll go once you’re out.
It’s something you should have in place if there’s a catastrophic weather event headed towards your area. You should strongly consider planning ahead if you live near a coast that could be affected by
- 1. Print or draw out a floor plan of your home, and walk your family through the layout of each floor. Draw out different routes and consider if certain hallways or doors were blocked at the time of evacuation.
- 2. Determine a meeting point for your family somewhere in your neighbourhood – it could be a neighbour’s house across the street, or a stop sign at the end of the road. If the family is out and about when an evacuation alert is given, and you can’t meet at your house, it’s a good idea to have another meeting spot nearby.
- 3. Communication is key. Make sure your family has a communication plan in place in case someone gets separated. Public safety officials are starting to use smartphones and social media to broadcast evacuation information, so it’s a good idea to understand
how to use your phone in an emergency.
- 4. Keep an emergency kit ready to go. Include a portable radio, a portable phone charger, a flashlight, extra batteries, any necessary medication, non-perishable snacks, water bottles, and pet food. Which brings us to our next point…
- 5. Create the plan with your furry family members in mind! Make sure you can safely bring your pet along by ensuring their carriers or leashes are easily accessible.
- Try and make sure your car is filled with gas. If you have enough time to prepare for an evacuation, stop at a gas station and fill up. Depending on the emergency, local gas stations might be closed down during the evacuation period.
- When leaving your home, follow evacuation routes provided by your municipal government or public safety officials. Some roads might be closed due to fires or flooding and aren’t safe to drive down.
- If time allows, check to see if your neighbours need help gathering their things and getting out.
Another way you can prepare is to make sure you have the right insurance for your home; if you live near a flood-prone area you might want to ask your insurer about
Be ready for any emergency by getting the right home insurance.