Emergency Preparedness Checklist: What You Should Know

Posted On: November 19th, 2020

Every home should have an emergency preparedness checklist in place, so you can be ready should anything happen. With wildfires still happening, you need to be ready to get out as soon as possible. How should you prepare for an emergency, and what should you have in your evacuation kit?

Here’s your full emergency preparedness checklist, so you know what you should do.

Be Aware of the Dangers in Your Area

The first thing to do is be aware of any dangers that you’re facing in your area right now. In some cases, you may already know what they are. For example in California, wildfires are still happening. If one starts to approach your home, you need to be ready to get out.

If you don’t know what to be prepared for in your area, then the best thing to do is to call your local Emergency Management Office or your American Red Cross Chapter. They will tell you what to look out for, and how to prepare for it.

As you’re doing this, it’s a good idea to ask about your children’s school or daycare emergency plans, as well as your workplace plans too.

Create a Plan

Now you know what to be ready for, you can start preparing a plan.

If a fire were to break out, what would you do? Create an escape plan, checking for exit points in your home if you need to get out in a hurry. Also, decide on a rendezvous point for everyone in the house once you all get out.

You’ll also need a plan for evacuation, should that need to happen. How will you all get out quick? Where will you keep your evacuation kit? Have it assembled and ready, so you can grab it on the way out should you ever need to. You’ll also need to think about how you’ll evacuate if it’s the middle of the night. Keep some sturdy shoes near the bed, so you can get out quickly.

You can use this guide to put together your plan. It includes floor plans and a checklist, so you can be fully prepared. Draw the plan out and place it somewhere everyone can see it, such as on the fridge.

Emergency Preparedness Checklist What You Should Know - Fraker Fire

Practice Your Plan

It’s very important that everyone in your home knows what to do, should anything happen. If there’s an emergency, what should they be doing? Practice your escape plan regularly, so you all have a good idea of what to expect. This will also help you understand what works in your plan, and what needs to be tweaked.

This is especially important if you have children. It’s important you prepare them for a potential emergency, but the concept may be rather frightening for them. If you take the time to explain what you’ll do, and practice your plan with them, they’ll feel a lot more confident if you do need to carry it out for real. It’s especially important that you teach them how to dial 911 and ask for help, should they ever need to.

What to Pack in Your Emergency Evacuation Kit

If you do need to leave the house in a hurry, then you’ll need a kit to take with you. This is what emergency organizations recommend you have packed up so you can take it with you in an emergency:

Face masks or coverings: Right now, you’ll need to ensure you have the right amount of face masks in your pack. You’ll need these to enter buildings during the COVID outbreak, so ensure you have plenty packed away in your kit.

Map with at least two evacuation routes: If you need to get out of the area, you’ll need a choice of evacuation routes. Ensure you have at least two marked down on your map, so you can leave even if one route is inaccessible. Be sure to ask for these routes when you’re calling the Red Cross or the Emergency Management Office.

Electrical items: There are several items you should have with you in your kit, ready to take with you. Ensure you have a flashlight, as well as battery powered radio with extra batteries. If time allows, you can also take with you chargers for electrical items, as well as any important info stored on hard drives.

Important documents: You’ll have several important documents in your home, such as your birth certificates and passports. Keep these in a safe container with the rest of your kit, so you can take them with you when you’re ready to go.

Medication: Make up a supply of any medication that you and your family needs, and place that in your kit so it’s ready. Also, it’s a good idea to place extra eyeglasses or contact lenses in there too.

Sanitation supplies: Things like soap and wipes should be in your kit, so you’ll be ready to go when the time comes. It’s more important now than ever before to have them. Add some hand sanitizer too, so you can keep your hands clean wherever you go.

Food and water: It’s advised that you take at least three gallons of water per person when you evacuate, so prepare this ahead of time. Don’t forget food and water for your pets, too. It’s advised that you take at least three days worth of non perishable food with you. This can include things like:

  • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned juices
  • Non perishable pasteurized milk
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dried fruits and nuts

When you pack cans, ensure that there’s a battery powered or hand crank can opener in the pack with them.



With all these tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to prepare yourself for any emergency that comes your way. Put together an emergency kit now, and create a plan to help you get away should you need to. Using this checklist, you shouldn’t miss anything important.

Emergency Preparedness Checklist What You Should Know - Fraker Fire

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