How to Create an Emergency Home Evacuation Plan

A place of safety and security, your home is there to offer protection to you and your family. However, unexpected emergencies can occur, causing you to flee your home quickly. A fire, flood, gas leak or natural disaster such as an earthquake or forest fire are all unpredictable. But with a little advance planning, you can ensure the safety of your family with an emergency home evacuation plan.

Protect your family with an emergency home evacuation plan.

Step 1

Plan escape routes from your home.  Aim to identify at least two routes from each room of the house, typically the normal route into and out of the room together with an alternative such as a window.

Write them down for every room in your home.  Keep your escape routes free from furniture, rubbish and obstructions.

Step 2

Check that window or door keys are readily available, in the rooms in which they will be needed. 

Step 3

Consider purchasing an escape ladder from a hardware store if you have a multilevel home.  Decide where it should be kept, ensuring it's easily accessible in an emergency.

Step 4

Plan a meeting point, outside the house where everyone can gather after an evacuation.  This could be a safe location in the garden, at a neighbor's house or with friends who live close-by.

Remember that if a natural disaster strikes, other buildings may also be damaged, so select locations in the open -- for example, in front of a neighbor's property. 

Step 5

Hold a family meeting, and ensure everyone is aware of what to do in the event of an evacuation.  Pay particular attention to the needs of the young and old.

Make sure everyone understands the emergency routine. 

Step 6

Practice your plan regularly.  Walk through each room with family members, and remind them what to do.

Practice with blindfolds or in completely darkened rooms occasionally, to simulate a smoky atmosphere. 

Things You Will Need

  • Pen and paper


  • If you have guests in your home, explain the evacuation plan to them so they will know what to do in an emergency.


  • This list is not exhaustive. If additional safety procedures and precautions are appropriate for your family or living situation, be sure to follow them.
  • This article includes only general guidelines. If you are a prospective foster or adoptive parent, be sure to follow state regulations and guidelines when creating your emergency evacuation plan.
  • If you have very young children, disabled family members, or family members with special needs, be sure to speak with a physician or other professional regarding appropriate emergency procedures.

Photo Credits

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