Maintain Your Plan

Once you have developed your plan, you need to practice and maintain it.  For example, ask questions to make sure your family remembers meeting paces, phone numbers, and safety rules.

Quiz: Review your plan every six months and quiz your family about what to do.

Drill: Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills on a regular basis with your family.

Test: Read the indicator on your fire extinguisher(s) and follow the manufacturer's instructions to recharge.  Check your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.  Replaces smoke alarms very 10 years.

Maintain Your Kit

Just as important as putting your supplies together is maintaining them so they are safe to use when needed.  Here are some tips to keep your supplies ready and in good condition:

  • Keep canned foods in a dry place where the temperature is cool.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pets and extend its shelf life.
  • Throw out any canned goods that become swollen, dented, or corroded.
  • Use foods before they go bad, and replace them with fresh supplies.
  • Place new items at the back of the storage area and older ones in the front.
  • Change stored food and waters supplies every six months.  Be sure to write the date you store food and water on all containers.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack, duffel bag, or storage bins.