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Creating an Emergency Plan

Create an Emergency PlanIn the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we use the Emergency Alert System (EAS) during emergencies.  When the decision is made to activate the EAS, original programming will be interrupted and an emergency message will be broadcast.  It is important that you listen to instructions.  Emergencies may strike when your family members are away from home, so find out about plans at your workplace, school, or anywhere else you and your family spend time.  After creating a household emergency plan, you should take time to review it with your family at least every 6 months.  Steps for creating a household emergency plan include:


  • Meet with household members and discuss the dangers of possible emergency events, including fire, severe weather, hazardous spills, and terrorism.

  • Discuss how you and your family will respond to each possible emergency.

  • Discuss what to do in case of power outages or personal injuries.

  • Draw a floor plan of your home.

  • Mark two escape routes from each room.

  • Teach adults how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches. If you do turn off natural gas service to your home, call your gas provider to restore service. Do not attempt to restore gas service yourself.

  • Post emergency contact numbers near all telephones, pre-program emergency numbers into phones with autodial capabilities.

  • Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1 to get emergency assistance.

  • Teach children how to make long-distance telephone calls.

  • Pick a friend or relative that all family members should call if separated.

  • It is often easier to call out-of-state during an emergency than within the affected area.

  • Instruct household members to turn to your local radio or television station for EAS information.

  • Pick two meeting places:             

 1. A place near your home.             

 2. A place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after an emergency.

  • Take a basic first aid and CPR class.

  • Contact the American Red Cross for more information.Keep family records in a watertight and fireproof safe.

  • Inexpensive models can be purchased at most hardware stores.

  • If members of your household have disabilities or are elderly, find out what services may be available to aid in their care or evacuation in the event of an emergency.

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