Step 2) First Things First

Do These Things as Soon as Possible

If Possible, Do Them Before you Leave the Property

  • If you rent or lease the home, contact the building owner or manager.
  • Get your family settled. If your home is not livable, and you cannot stay with family or friends, you can go to temporary housing arranged by local Emergency Support Services personnel. Following a large disaster, the local government may establish temporary housing in secure Group Lodging facilities where possible. Try to keep the family together – togetherness provides mutual support.
  • If you are insured, contact your agent, broker or insurance company. Do this as soon as possible to get your claim underway. Most policies cover the cost of shelter, food and clothing for the reasonable time needed to repair or rebuild your home.


Take a moment to imagine that there is an emergency, like a fire in your home, and you need to leave quickly. What are the best escape routes from your home? Find at least two ways out of each room. Now, write it down — you've got the beginning of a plan.