Having a fire in your home can be a very scary thing to cope with. However, it’s a lot scarier when you don’t know what to do. By creating an evacuation plan, you can help your family know exactly what to do and where to go in case of a fire or other emergency.
Here are a few pointers on how to create an evacuation plan for your family:
Make a map of your home
The first thing you’ll want to do is make a map of your home. You can do this my measuring the walls, hallways, etc. You’ll want to include windows on this map.
You can use a ruler and pencil for this. I’ve also found that using graph paper is helpful to keep everything to its correct proportions. Some people have even used computer programs like Photoshop or floorplanner.com
You’ll want to label the map with all the door and window exits. This will help you determine primary and alternative exists when creating an evacuation plan.
Label other essentials
Also take this opportunity to label where things like fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, 72-hour kits and more, are located in your home.
Determine a meeting location
Now that you have your map prepared; determine where you and your family will meet outside of the home. This location should be far enough away from the home in case it is on fire.
Practice the plan
Now comes the fun part! Have a family activity where you can practice your evacuation plans. Make the situations unique to each child.
Start by showing your child where they are located on the map. Explain that if a fire is in a certain area, they might need to take a different route out of the home. After you’ve explained the situation, practice the plan!
You can also take this opportunity to teach your children how to check doors to test if there is a fire on the other side, how to climb emergency ladders and other safety practices.
Here is a fun video from La Capitale - an insurance company based in Quebec - that shows some basic tips for family evacuation plans.
Disaster Preparedness Handbook: Guide for Families