Be Disaster Aware, Take Action To Prepare

Emergencies can happen at any time.  Does your family know how to get in touch with each other if you are not all together?


Before  an emergency happens, have a family discussion to determine who would be your out-of-state point of contact, and where you would meet away from your home – both in the neighborhood and within your town.

Let them know you are OK

Pick the same person for each family member to contact.  It might be easier to reach someone who’s out of town.

Text, don’t talk!

Unless you are in danger, send a text.  Text messages may have an easier time getting through than phone calls, and you don’t want to tie up phone lines needed by emergency workers.

For more information and to download and complete a Family Communication Plan, visit


September is National Preparedness Month

More than 3,400 Americans die each year across the country in fires and approximately 17,500 are injured.  An overwhelming number of these fires occur in the home.  There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire.  It’s not a question of luck.  It’s a matter of planning ahead.

In the event of a home fire, every second counts.  September is National Preparedness Month and the United States Fire Administration and E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire & Safety offer these tips to keep you and your family safe.


Have Two Ways Out

  • Plan and practice home fire drills as a family.
  • Draw a map of each level of your home showing all doors and windows.
  • Discuss the map with everyone who lives with you.
  • Practice your home fire drills at least twice a year.
  • Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Push the smoke alarm button to start the fire drill.
  • Try feeling your way in the dark or with your eyes closed.
  • Have at least two ways out of every room. If your first way out is blocked by fire or smoke, you can use your second way out.
  • If there is smoke, get low and go. Crawl quickly under the smoke to your nearest exit.
  • Close doors behind you and gather at a preplanned outside meeting place where firefighters and first responders can see you.
  • Remember to Get Out and Stay Out.
  • Never go back inside for people, pets or things.

Finally, keep your escape plan posted on the refrigerator so everyone in your home, including guests, know what to do and where to go during fire or smoke conditions.  Taking a few minutes now to be prepared might mean the difference between life or death for you and your family Where You Live!