Prior to a disaster, each family must have a plan. You can begin this process by gathering family members and making sure each person is well-informed on potential hazards and community plans. Discuss with them what you would do if family members are not home when a warning is issued. Additionally, your family plan should address the following:
Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media, door-to-door notification or citizen telephonic notification system. Additionally, there may be circumstances under which you and your family feel threatened or endangered and you need to leave your home, school, or workplace to avoid these situations.
The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. Many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.
Listed below are guidelines to assist each family is preparing for the event of an evacuation:
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations. Complete a contact card for each family member. Have family members keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, backpack, etc. You may want to send one to school with each child to keep on file. Pick a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. By choosing an out-of-state contact, if local phone lines are locked up, each family member should still be able to make & receive long distance phone calls.
Utility Shut-off and Safety
In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off the utility service at your home. As part of your family preparedness, contact your local water, gas, and electrical companies to learn how to safety turn off these services.
It is important that family members know how to administer first aid and CPR and how to use a fire extinguisher.
If you or someone close to you has a disability or a special need, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency.
If you have special needs: Find out about special assistance that may be available in Washoe County. Register with the office of emergency services or the local fire department for assistance so needed help can be provided.
Care for Pets: Information for pet owners
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return. For additional information, please contact Washoe County Regional Animals Services.
Plan for Pet Disaster Needs
Prepare to Shelter Your Pet
Care for Livestock: Information for Livestock Owners
If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.