Having to evacuate your home because of a fire may be one of the most scary things that can happen to a homeowner. It means that you could be in incredible danger, and it might mean that your home could be completely lost. An evacuation means you have to move quickly and effectively, while making sure that nothing is forgotten. That means having a plan set out ahead of time so you are prepared to go at a moment’s notice.
Here’s everything you need to do before, during and after a fire.
Before A Fire Evacuation
Preparation is the most important part of a good evacuation plan. There are several things you do before a fire to make sure you are ready.
Disaster Relief Kit
A disaster relief kit, sometimes called a go bag, contains any essentials that you might need if you have to evacuate in a hurry. Make sure to have extra cash in there, along with extra clothing items, like sweatshirts and footwear. You should also pack emergency health information, but make sure that it is placed in a waterproof bag to keep it safe. Extras of medication should be in there, along with an extra phone charger. There are lots of sample evacuation kits on the web, so do a search to pick and choose the items that best suit your family.
There are also certain things that everyone in your household should know if there is a fire. For instance, you should pick out a place for everyone to meet up at if you have to leave in a hurry. This can be in front of a neighbor’s house, for example. Make sure that everyone’s phone numbers are saved in all family members phones so that you can easily communicate if you get separated. Sometimes, a fire can affect entire neighborhoods or even municipalities. If this is the case, you should have some place you can escape to in every possible direction.
Make sure that your car always has at least a half tank of gas. If the fire is affecting an entire area, you may need to drive a distance to get away to safety. If you do not have a car, make sure that you have a plan in place and know exactly how you will get away.
During An Evacuation
You will have to think fast while you are evacuating. It is best to already know what you want to do, so you can make the best decisions and keep everyone safe.
Do your best to keep in touch with everyone from your home at all times. If the cause of your evacuation is a wildfire, then there may be power lines down and your phones may not work. Or, you may have family members that cannot get to where you are. Always listen to the instructions from officials, such as the firefighters and police. They have more information and will know what the safest course of action is. If it is a wildfire that is affecting more than just your home, then you should also listen for emergency updates on news radio and weather stations.
Do not forget about your pets. Part of your preparation can be to have them well-trained enough to come when you call. Be sure that your pets are in a place where you can easily retrieve them.
Health and Safety
Once you are out of the building, check everyone for injuries and other issues. Emergency responders will be able to give everyone a check over as well. When it comes to being exposed to smoke, there may be unseen issues affecting you, so it is never a bad idea to head to the hospital to get checked out.
After An Evacuation
Once the fire is extinguished, you may be tempted to head back into your home to survey the damage. Do not do so until an authority has stated that it is safe, as damage to the structure may have occurred. In some cases, a home may need to be closed off until it is repaired for family members to enter safely.
The best plan of action at this point is hiring a professional fire restoration contractor to help you restore and rebuild your property.
Experiencing a fire in your home can be overwhelming. But, by being proactive and creating a fire evacuation plan, you are taking the first step towards preparing your family for the unexpected.