Emergency Planning Information

The American Red Cross has produced an excellent Disaster Plan checklist that can help families to be prepared.
Plans must be made that will fit the family not the family fitting the plan.

STEP 1: Find out what could happen to you

  • Ask what kind of disasters are likely to happen in our area and how to prepare for them - see Severe Weather link on this page
  • Learn about our communities warning system and how you can use them - Okaloosa has a 311 Citizen Information Line within the county and a computer based warning system with the ability to call 1,000 homes a minute with emergency information.
  • Learn about animal care during and after a disaster for your pets:
  • Find out how you can help the elderly or disabled if needed
  • Learn about the disaster plans at your work and your children's schools or other places where your children may spend time

STEP 2: Create a disaster plan

  • Discuss with your family disasters that are most likely to happen
  • Pick 2 places to meet in a disaster: one right outside your house for a sudden emergency and one outside your neighborhood in case you can't get home
  • Ask an out of state friend to be a family contact that way family members around the country will know your okay without overloading the phone system
  • Discuss what to do in an emergency and make sure to include your pets

STEP 3: Complete this checklist (See Disaster Supply Kit link on this page)

  • Post emergency phone numbers where your family can quickly locate them
  • Teach your children when and how to call 911 in an emergency
  • Show your family how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches
  • Obtain adequate insurance and don't forget flood insurance if you live in an area that could flood
  • Obtain fire extinguishers (ABC type) and teach your family when and how to use them
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt (any objects that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire)
  • Stock emergency supplies in your disaster kit, don't forget Shelter-In-Place items - see Supply List link on this page
  • Take a first aid or CPR class
  • Choose two escape routes from each room, test them to see if they work
  • Find safe areas in your house for each type of disaster you may face
  • Become involved in your Neighborhood (start an Community Emergency Response Team, call Emergency Management for information)

STEP 4: Practice your plan and change as needed

  • Quiz your family so they remember what to do
  • Practice your plan every six months
  • Change supplies such as water and food every six months to keep them fresh
  • Test your smoke detectors and batteries
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguishers per manufacturer directions