Hey all! Before we move on to the next evacuation plan, I wanted to make sure we’re not zipping along too fast and leaving people behind in the dust. So did you get a chance to get your 5-second evacuation plan done? And more importantly, did you take some time to run through it with your family?
I am so glad I actually took the time to do this because in the process I discovered a smoke detector that was not functioning in our home. We had taken the battery out of it at one point because it kept sounding false alarms, and then we had neglected to correct the problem. So on Monday I went to the store and bought a combo smoke/carbon monoxide detector, and Monday night hubby and I sat down with our two little girls and explained the importance of fire safety. We replaced the old, non-working detector with the new one and then did a practice drill to make sure the girls could recognize the sound. And I’ll tell ya what… it freaked the pants off my little two year old! (But my one year old thought it was great! :)) Anyway, we had to calm little 2-yr old down and explain to her that the sound has to be loud so it can keep us safe. We used the example of ‘Dora, the Explorer’ (her favorite show) about how they always put their seat belts on and say “so we can be safe!” and that seemed to help her a little. (Thanks Dora!) 🙂 Anyway, we went over our evacuation routes, established that Daddy was our first in command and then Mommy (if Daddy isn’t home) along with his/my responsibilities, and then we went outside and determined our meeting location. (We chose a tree in our neighbor’s yard… the same neighbors whose home we would likely be calling 9-1-1 from.)
Bottom line: Although it frightened my little one, this was a very beneficial run through. It was actually the first time we’ve discussed it with our kids (obviously they’re still a bit on the young side), but we’re planning to do this about every 6 months so that 1) we can make sure all our smoke alarms are working (!!) and 2) so that we can get it drilled into our minds what to do so we won’t panic if we actually ever do need to use our plan. So let’s give this one more week to get everything together and next week we’ll move onto the 5-minute evacuation. Good luck! Stay safe!
Oh, and here’s a picture of our family’s evacuation routes*. If you’re struggling with where to start, hopefully this will help get you going…
*I just drew this up in MS Word, so I had to improvise a bit… the little black lines seemingly floating around are where the doors are, and the little rectangular boxes on the walls are the windows (in case you needed help interpreting the map:)). But remember that a rough sketch with a pencil is just as good as anything done on a computer! The important thing is to get a plan in action!