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What's Up Magazine

Real Family Planning

Apr 01, 2015 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
What are you working on for your family this week? Timely matters like a backyard Easter egg hunt? A massive, ham-centric dinner for the extended family and friends? A memorable escape to Orlando, Myrtle Beach, or even Rehoboth? And what about long-term planning…are your will and insurance policies all shipshape?

Clearly, you and your spouse are good providers and put your family first. But there is something you need to do—something that should move to the very top of your to-do list: You need an “In Case of Fire” plan.

Recent headlines, both local and national, have made the tragic point that home fires can happen to anyone at any time. Now is your time to put your own house in order.

And there are caring, informed people out there who can help, like the American Red Cross—the same group that provides invaluable services in case the worst happens. The Red Cross wants to be able to hand out blankets, supply any temporary housing, or rapidly replace your prescription medicines and glasses. They want to help survivors.

To that end, the American Red Cross has compiled a list of Preparedness Tips:
  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test the batteries every month and replace them once a year.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year. Designate a meeting spot outside and a safe distance from the house. Make sure all family members know the meeting spot.
  • Practice low crawling and at different times of day. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Make sure everyone in your home learns how to use them. Keep them near the window where they will be used.
  • Teach your family to stop, drop to the ground, and roll if their clothes catch on fire. Practice this with your children.
  • Once you get out of your home, stay out under all circumstances.
  • Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on creating home fire escape plans.

--Sarah Hagerty
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