Emergencies can happen at any time and can have a big effect on your life. Making a plan helps you to think clearly, have a greater sense of control and make better decisions when an emergency occurs.
A good emergency plan has three parts:
- What you plan to do before the emergency to be ready.
- What you plan to do during the emergency.
- What you plan to do after the emergency.
Make sure your plan includes:
- how you will get further information about the situation
- what you will do if some family members are not home during the emergency or you have visitors to your home
- who can you ask for help if you need it.
What you can do before an emergency to be prepared?
- Find out as much information as you can about the types of emergencies that could affect you. You can do this by attending community information sessions, checking websites and reading brochures.
- Learn about what warnings you may receive, what they mean and how to respond.
- Put together an emergency kit including a copy of your emergency plan and emergency contact list.
- Check your insurance is up to date, adequate and includes the cost of clean-up and debris removal.
- Learn how to safely turn off your power, water and gas.
- Get to know your neighbours.
- Decide early whether you will evacuate and when. Late decisions can be deadly.
Things to do regularly
- Make sure your home and property are well maintained, that gutters and downpipes are cleaned, roof and fences are in good repair and items such as trampolines are tied down.
- Go over your emergency plan with household members and regularly check the contents of your emergency kit.
- Make sure any protective clothing fits and is in good condition.
When you receive a warning or when an emergency is about to happen
- Make sure household members and neighbours know the danger – keep in touch.
- Get more information, observe what is happening, talk to neighbours, listen to the radio and check websites.
- Follow your emergency plan and keep your emergency kit handy.
- Dress appropriately – wear strong shoes and protective clothing.
What will you do during the emergency?
- Stay informed about what is going on in case the situation changes – keep a lookout to see, hear and smell what’s happening.
- Keep calm and stay in touch with family, friends and neighbours
- Take active steps to reduce damage to your property
- Listen to emergency broadcasters for information and updates from emergency services.