While there are warnings for many types of potential disasters, many emergencies and disasters occur without any warning. Since you can’t predict where you will be for disasters, it is important to have plans and supplies for the locations you and your household go to regularly. Planning ahead will ensure that you and your household will know what to do and have the supplies you need to be safe wherever you are.
Individuals should consider the locations they frequent, and customize their personal plans based on what they would do if an emergency occurred while they were at that location.
Examples of locations to consider and plan for include:
- Regular methods of transportation such as trains, public transit
- Places of Worship
- Sports arenas and playing fields
- Entertainment locations such as theatres
- Shopping areas such as malls and retail centers
- Tourist and travel locations such as hotels
- Information that should be considered includes:
- How you will get local alert or warnings while you are there
- Building location alarm or alert systems
- Building occupant evacuation plans including alternate exits
- Plans for sheltering occupants in an emergency
- Key Supplies you would need for temporary sheltering
Planning should also consider how the type of structure or the environments around the structure or location may impact shelter and evacuation, and the need for supplies.
- Single story vs multi-story buildings
- High rise buildings have different types of shelter and evacuation considerations
- Urban versus rural locations may have different assumptions and plans for evacuation
- Buildings like schools, sports arenas, and malls may have different plans for evacuation and different methods for evacuation depending on types of emergencies (e.g. tornadoes)
- Outdoor locations likes sports fields or golf courses for rapid short-term shelter (e.g. for thunderstorms and lightening or tornadoes)
- Geography may be critical for some hazards (e.g. if the area is low and vulnerable to flash flooding)
- Traffic and route considerations based on time of day, congestion, and normal routes of travel for the majority
The point is to think about what you would do if you were here or there when a disaster strikes. Planning ahead WILL make a difference and will greatly increase your odds of survival success.