Even though it’s easy to think that disasters won’t happen to you, emergency situations can happen anywhere, at any time. It’s important to have a plan, and to know what to do in an emergency.
Experience shows that those who plan and prepare for emergencies can reduce the impact of the emergency, and can recover quicker afterwards.
Taking the time to think about emergencies and making a plan helps you to think clearly, have a greater sense of control, and make better decisions when an emergency occurs.
Creating an Emergency Plan takes very little time and may help save your life or property during an emergency. We have created a comprehensive guide to help you create your Emergency Plan, which will guide you step-by-step through the process.
- Home Emergency Plan Workbook.pdf (844 KB)
Things to think about when creating your Emergency Plan:
Who should I include in my plan?
Consider all members of your household including pets, regular visitors and people who may stay with you part-time.
What emergencies could affect me?
Think about where your property is located and the way it looks. Think broadly about the kinds of emergencies that could impact you. Don’t fall into the trap of focussing on one emergency at the expense of others.
Where will I go if I need to evacuate?
Make sure that you and your family all understand when and how you will leave, and where you will go. Think about the safest routes, and what you will need to take with you if you go.
Where will I find emergency information and warnings?
Know where to go for official emergency information. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and website addresses handy, and know how to tune in to your local emergency broadcaster.
Where will I meet my family if we are separated?
Determine a safe meeting place in case you are separated, and make sure your family members, friends and neighbours are aware of the location.
What if I have special needs?
If you have special needs, you need to think carefully about your plan. If you have a carer or council support, ask them how to help you prepare or check over your plan.
Start by thinking about:
- Whether you will need help to leave your home
- Having a pre-arranged safer place to stay
- Whether you will need to take any special equipment with you
- Whether you will need an alternative power source to run life-support equipment
Even if you only need help from a neighbour, talking about it now will ease your mind and ensure everything is in place before an emergency occurs.
Red Cross Australia has excellent emergency planning advice for people with a disability and their carers.
A basic home emergency kit should contain:
- Portable radio with spare batteries
- Torch with spare batteries
- First Aid kit
- A copy of your emergency plan
- Bottled water
- Enough non-perishable food for three days
- Rubber gloves
- Food and special requirements for pets
If an emergency occurs, add the following items to your emergency kit:
- Important documents such as passports, birth certificates and insurance papers
- Mobile phone and charger
- Strong boots or shoes
- Medications and prescriptions