EDITOR’S NOTE: “Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.
Prior to a disaster, each family must have a plan. You can begin this process by gathering family members and making sure each person is well-informed on potential hazards and community plans.
Discuss with them what you would do if family members are not home when a warning is issued. Additionally, your family plan should address the following:
Escape routes: Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
Meeting places: Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency and evacuation. For example, for a spot near your home, a good idea might be “the next door neighbor’s telephone pole.” Or, for a spot outside the immediate area, you might say “the neighborhood grocery store parking lot.”
Evacuation plans: When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media, door-to-door notification or citizen telephonic notification system such as Code Red. To register and receive alerts via email, cell phone, text messaging, go to www.readywashoe.com. You can also download Code Red application on your cell phone. You can also tune to 780 KOH AM radio.
Plan ahead: Additionally, there may be circumstances under which you and your family feel threatened or endangered and you need to leave your home, school or workplace to avoid these situations. The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. Many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.
Next week we will focus on the rest of the steps necessary to complete the “Make a plan” process.