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Ohio Emergency Management Agency

National Preparedness Month

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.
Practice Your Emergency Plans

Practice your Plan

Once you’ve identified the different types of hazards that can impact your home and community, and have developed emergency procedures for each incident, you then need to communicate, train, practice and maintain your plans.

At work, conduct training exercises and practice safety drills. Drills are often used to test new policies or equipment, or practice current skills. Drills can test how well your place of employment responds to simulated emergencies including intruders, fire or severe weather.

At home, ask questions to make sure household members know meeting places, important phone numbers and safety rules. Conduct safety drill such as shelter-in-place for tornadoes; drop, cover and hold on for earthquakes. Conduct fire drills: make sure everyone knows two ways to exit out of a room or home. Establish a meeting place (such as a tree) outside of the home. Test smoke detectors late at night so everyone can practice escaping their rooms, staying low to the ground as they evacuate the home, and stop, drop and roll.

When you share your emergency plans with children, you want them to be informed and prepared, but you do not want to scare them. Some things to consider before communicating and practicing:

  • Give children advance warning about the drills and what to expect. Also explain what happened at the end of the drill.
  • Stay calm.
  • Use games, rhymes, music, art and other activities to make emergency preparedness fun and memorable.
  • Make your communication to children age-appropriate.

Include making a family communication plan – contact cards that list your out-of-town contact person, work numbers, school numbers, cell phone numbers, and emergency numbers (fire, police, or 911). Keep cards handy in a wallet, purse or kids’ backpacks or book bags.


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