Emergency Evacuation Checklist

Preparing an Emergency Evacuation Plan

An emergency evacuation plan has 2 parts: evacuation from your house and evacuation from your neighborhood. An evacuation plan for your home is useful not only for disasters, but also for fires or other incidents in your home.

Home Evacuation Tips

Important points to remember when creating an evacuation plan for your home are:

  • You should have at least 2 escape routes from each room.
  • You should mark the locations of any escape ladders, or other special equipment.
  • You should mark the locations of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, first aid kits, disaster 72-hour kit.
  • You should mark the locations of the shutoffs for gas, water, and electricity.
  • For people with medical conditions or disabilities, mark their location as well as the location of any special equipment they will immediately need.

Emergency Evacuation Inventory

If you have to evacuate your house, you may have as little as 10 minutes. Under these circumstances, trying to think of what to save is very difficult. Take some time now to think about what items you would try to take with you. Write down a list of the high priority items you would take if you only had 10 minutes to evacuate your house. Remember, you may have to carry everything.

Planning Evacuation Steps

If you have time during an evacuation, you may want to take steps to secure your house. Give some thought to what things you need to do to secure your house. Write down your plans and keep the paper in a safe and accessible location. Household Emergency Evacuation Plan

Draw your building's floor plan, then draw your evacuation routes and a meeting place.

Make 1 drawing for each story of the building. Keep in a safe place and review often with your family. Have maps ready for the following:

  • Closest evacuation centers
  • Main and alternative routes for leaving the city in north, south, east and west directions
  • Meet-up spots outside the affected areas

Choosing An Out-of-Area Contact

You should have a phone list of 3 contacts, outside of your area. Each family member should carry a personal copy of this list. In an emergency, communications may be down in your area. Family members can contact the persons out of the emergency area to pass along messages and to check on the welfare of other family members. Other tips include:

  • Your contact person should have voice mail or an answering machine.
  • Ensure that every family member knows that they should listen to the radio or TV for telephone use instructions, then phone your out-of-area contact person to say how and where they are and what their plans are.
  • Keep calls short, and if possible, arrange to call the contact person back at a specified time for another check-in.

Choosing a Place to Meet

At the time of an emergency, your family may not be together. It is important to choose family meeting places. Remember that bridges may be out and roads may be blocked by debris, so choose your meeting places carefully with access in mind. Pick places that are easy to identify, that can be reached on foot if necessary, and that are in an accessible, open area. Take into account where each of you will likely be at different times and on different days.

Neighborhood Evacuation Plans

The emergency evacuation plan for your neighborhood can be handy in a large disaster. By plotting out potential routes on a city map before the disaster, you will save yourself from having to figure something out while in a hurry. Things to think about when crafting your neighborhood evacuation plan include:

  • You should plan 2 routes for each direction (north, south, east, and west).
  • You should avoid routes with obvious hazards, or routes which are likely to be impassible in a disaster. You probably will want to drive the routes before deciding.) Avoid common routes that may be congested during an emergency.

Other Safety Tips

  • Establish plans with other family members for meeting up outside of the evacuated area. Make sure each member knows the location of the established meeting points.
  • Be sure that each family member has a copy of the evacuation plan, maps and telephone numbers.
  • You should also allow for an evacuation scenario, while at work.
  • Keep your emergency evacuation plans in a safe location with your 72-hour kit.