Tragedy happens. Mother Nature, manmade disasters, accidents and freak occurrences require families to have some form of emergency action plan or evacuation plan. The best defense to aver tragedy is having systems in place.
The Red Cross is known for their disaster response strategy and they have put together a comprehensive list of steps to take:
Create a Family Emergency Plan
Meet with your family or household members.
Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency
Choose two places to meet:
Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
Choose an outofarea emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or programmed into their cell phones.
Make a Home Evacuation Plan
Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter if necessary.
Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of petfriendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
The most important aspect of any fire is protecting life and limb. The stuff inside and the structure itself doesn’t matter when it comes to family safety. But when people lose all their stuff in a fire, it is still very hard, and to some, devastating.
If you lose all your mementos, clothes, photos and all the items that make life comfortable, it can take 1-2 years or more to adjust and get back on your feet.
Fortunately, today’s home security systems can also be equipped with fire alarms that prompt a dispatcher to call the fire department ASAP.
On houses with porches that have poles and posts and the resident is adept at climbing that may be a consideration for some.
The safest and most recommended option is a fire escape ladder. I own a 25 foot ladder, three-story fire escape ladder with anti-slip rungs that can hang out a window.