Home Emergency Plan

When beginning to put your home emergency plan together you should ask these 3 questions first:checklist-1

  1. What types of emergencies do I want my home emergency plan to include?House fire
    • Flood
    • Having to call EMS for a sick or injured resident.
    • Home invasion
  2. What types of natural disasters occur in my area the most frequent?
    • Are you in a tornado area?
    • Earthquakes?
    • Flooding?
    • Hurricane or tropical storms?
    • Blizzards?
  3. What emergency plans or equipment do I already have in place?

10 Home Emergency Plan items that every home should have:

  1. Multiple fire extinguishers (different types located below).
  2. Smoke detectors & Carbon Monoxide detectors.
  3. Window and door alarms.
  4. Reinforced door jambs.
  5. Multiple means of self-defense. Firearm(s), Pepper spray etc. *always check local laws*
  6. Multiple flashlights with extra batteries.
  7. Emergency radio (HAM radio with FM feature preferred) *ensure proper licenses*
  8. First-aid kit.
  9. Go bag. (Bug out bag, survival bag etc.)
  10. Overnight hospital bag.

Include in your plan

An emergency floor plan of your home.

  • Home layoutemergency floor plan.jpg
  • Identify areas of highest risks. (Kitchen, 2nd floor, Areas with extension cords, furnace, washer & dryer)
    • Identify and mark exits/entrances. Include last resort exits if all others fail.
    • Label smoke detectors and Fire Extinguishers.
    • Label a meeting point outside.
    • Don’t forget to label the furnace and breaker box areas.
    • Label first-aid kits and flashlights on the layout plan.
    • Map out routes of escape from each bedroom.

Fire Extinguishers

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home for emergencies? If not, you should.

Different types of fire extinguishers and their uses:

  • Class A
    • For ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics.
  • Class B
    • For fires involving flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil.
  • Class C
    • For fires involving electrical equipment, such as appliances, wiring, circuit breakers, and outlets. Never use water to extinguish class C fires. *May cause electrical shock*
  • Class D
    • These are commonly found in a chemical lab. They are for fires that involve combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, potassium, and sodium.
  • Class K
    • For fires that involve cooking oils, trans-fats, or fats in cooking appliances.


Unless you are dealing with chemicals you should only need A, B, C and a residential cooking equipment rated fire extinguisher. Class K is mainly for commercial kitchens, where they use deep fryers.

Hunting for the right extinguisher can become a complicated process. To keep it simple here is one for your kitchen and here is one for other areas of your home. (*I do not endorse the companies linked for fire extinguishers. The links are provided simply for information purposes.*)

When using a fire extinguisher follow the P.A.S.S. acronym.

P ⇒  pull

A ⇒  aim

S ⇒  squeeze

S ⇒  sweep

Smoke detectors & Carbon Monoxide detectors

The National Fire Protection Association states when installing smoke alarms you should, “Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level.”Heimrauchmelder.jpg

Test the smoke alarm once per month using the test button.

Carbon monoxide detectors should also be placed in a similar way as smoke detectors.

CarbonMonoxideDetectorPlacement.com has more information on carbon monoxide detectors.


Every home emergency plan should include smoke detectors and monthly inspections.


When it comes to your home emergency plan security is arguably the most important, layers of security are what you want. Just having window/door alarms isn’t enough. Three layers of security are recommended. Deter, Detect, Delay, Deny.

Layer 1 – Deterrent

  • Yard Signs
    • Home security system yard signs, “Beware of dog signs”, “No trespassing” signs (should always be on your property), “this property is under 24hr surveillance” signs.
  • Gates & fencesFence.jpg
    • Gates usually mark where your property is located. By putting up a fence/gate
      you are announcing that you do not want anybody on your property.
  • Dog(s)
    • A dog barking at a potential intruder is almost always going to persuade the perp to move on to the next house. Especially if the dog is outside. If the dog is on the inside of the house then the sign on the fence should serve as a deterrent.

Layer 2 – Detect

  • CCTV Security cameras
    • As video quality improves the cost of decent cameras gets lower and lower. You can get a decent camera set up with 4 cameras and a DVR for $300 bucks. Having a surveillance sign along with the cameras is almost sure to prevent any shenanigans from happening on your property. Even if they do occur, you would have video evidence of what happened.
  • Driveway alarms.
    • You can get these at the same place as the door/window alarms. They are usually motion activated and alert you of motion in your drivewayDobermann.jpg.
  • Dog(s)
    • This is why a dog is so useful when it comes to security. A dog enforces all 3 layers of security. A good guard dog will bark at the sight or sound of a sketchy person. (Including the mail man/woman).
  • Exterior Lights
    • Home invaders typically do not want to be seen at all.
      • Put some motion sensor lights up around the exterior of the house.

Layer 3 – Delay/Deny

  • Door reinforcementdoor_terminilogy
    • Anybody that is motivated enough and has enough time can get into your
      home. The idea is to delay them as much as possible, to give you time to A) escape, B) Call police or C) prepare to protect yourself.

      • You can reinforce your exterior doors in several ways. (I recommend all of them)
      • Replace the short screws that come stock with your strike plates. Use 2.5 – 3-inch screws on the jamb into the wood framing.
      • Replace the stock screws that come with the door hinges with 2.5 -3-inch screws.
      • Reinforce the where around the knob and bolt lock with metal.
  • Magnetic alarms
    • If somebody manages to get through your door or open your window the alarms will sound and possibly scare the perp off. At a minimum, this will alert you to give you more time. You can find these magnetic alarms for fairly cheap. I suggest having the ones without codes on all of your windows. For your doors, I would recommend the ones that have numerical codes to activate and deactivate.
  • Dogs (again)
    • The dog plays the same role as the magnetic alarms. Only, alerting you sooner and giving the perp second thoughts.
  •  Escape
    • If you can run away safely, you should. Avoiding a conflict at all costs is the best chance of survival.
  • Self Defense
    • At this point, the perp must have gotten through all of the other layers. As a last resort, you should have a firearm to use to protect your life and/or your family’s life. This should only be used as a last resort after all other means have been exhausted.


      Mossberg Pump Action Shotgun

Flashlights & Batteries

                If your home emergency plan doesn’t include flashlights then you aren’t prepared. You should have enough flashlights in your home for every occupant to use. Always keep a stock of extra batteries. The flashlights should be kept together with the batteries. You don’t want to have to search for a flashlight in the dark.

Emergency Radio


Baofeng Ham radio

Having a radio could help you obtain useful information about the emergency situation that has occurred. Having a HAM radio (amateur radio) will allow you to not only listen to information but also allow you to communicate with others. In order to transmit on a HAM radio, the F.C.C. requires you to obtain a license. This is good because it helps you to learn about HAM radio. If you are going to have it, you need to know how to use it. Baofeng HAM radio. *(Link for information purposes)*


First-Aid kit

In your first-aid kit, keep any medicines that you or your family need to take regularly. Click here to get an idea of what types of things you should keep in your first-aid kit.

Go Bag/B.O.B.

As a prepper, you should keep your “go bag” in an easy to access place in your home. It should include all of the items you have obtained to survive for 72 hrs+.

Overnight Hospital bag

This should include essential things you need to stay comfortable.

  • Medicine, phone chargers, a few changes of clothes

Basically, the same type of stuff you took with you, in your bag, when you stayed the night at your friend’s house growing up.

Is your family’s home emergency plan up to date? You should inspect your emergency plan once per month. This includes all of the equipment. Being prepared in times of crisis can keep you and your family alive. A lot of the time, us preppers, we tend to focus our attention on apocalyptic scenarios, or doomsday, and that’s okay to do. But, we should start prepping for the most common situations first. We should start at home. Having an emergency response plan will increase your odds of survival drastically. If every factory and warehouse have an Emergency plan then we should have them at home too. Consider creating a bug out binder to help with your home emergency plan.

Other Sources: Ready.govRedCross, CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response, OSHA


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