Week 7 – Where will your family meet after an Earthquake?

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By Jackie Kloosterboer – Earthquake Preparedness Specialist & Author – My Earthquake Preparedness Guide
The shrilling noise of your smoke alarm jolts you from a deep sleep. You can smell and taste the smoke as you leap from your bed.  You realize this is really bad as you scream for your family to get out of the house immediately. There is no time to check on them or help them – you all need to get out NOW.  You rush to the nearest exit praying your family will do the same. 
Outside, your heart is racing as you frantically search for your family. You rush from your back yard to the front yard searching desperately for them as you watch your house go up in flames. Where are they? How are they? Did they make it out safely?   
How different this situation could have been if you had sat down with your family and identified your Family Meeting Place before being faced with a fire. Your Family Meeting Place is a pre identified location where your family will meet when you have to evacuate your home.  
Usually a Family Meeting Place is located across the street from your home in front of your neighbour’s house making it an easy location for all family members to report to when being evacuated. If you and your family meet there you will very quickly know who has made it out safely and who has not. You could then let the fire department know and they may be able to help that person.
When evacuating your home if anyone leaves by the door where your Grab & Go Kits are stored grab the kits if it is safe to do so.  If it’s not safe to grab your Grab and Go kits simply leave the house. Life safety always comes first!
Your Family Meeting Place is a crucial part of your plan making it easy to reunite your family. We all need to remember that earthquakes can cause secondary disasters such as fires. So whether the fire you are facing is the result of an earthquake or whether it’s a house fire – you are going to be thankful you have your Family Meeting Place
Having responded to many house and apartment fires over the years, I have seen first-hand the importance of having a Family Meeting Place. I see the panicked faces of parents frantically searching for their kids not knowing if they have made it out safely, the fear of kids who can’t find their parents. 
They don’t know if they are still in the burning house or apartment or if they have made it out to safety because they never identified their Family Meeting Place. This works – but like anything else it only going to work if you have taken the time to put it in place.
Sit down with your family today and identify your Family Meeting Place.

Your Task for Week #7:

  1. Sit down with your family and identify your Family Meeting Place.
  2. Explain that this is the location you will meet if you must evacuate your home quickly.
  3. Practice evacuating your home by setting off the smoke alarms.  Have family members located in different parts of your home and when they hear the smoke alarm have them go to your Family Meeting Place. 
  4. Remind your family if they are going past the location your Grab & Go Kits are stored to grab them if safe to do so. 

Week 8 we will look at how to connect with your family after an earthquake if you are not at home.

Until then – stay safe and get you, your family and pets prepared.

The time to prepare is NOW – once the earthquake strikes it will be too late!


Jackie Kloosterboer – BIO

Jackie Kloosterboer has been leading the way in earthquake preparedness for 2 decades presenting more than 100 Earthquake Preparedness sessions each year to groups and businesses. She is often interviewed by a variety of media outlets across Canada as she promotes the importance of earthquake and disaster preparedness.

As an Emergency Preparedness Specialist and an Instructor with the Justice Institute of BC Jackie travels across Canada teaching people how to respond to disasters to help those who have been displaced. Throughout British Columbia Jackie has taken on leadership roles assisting those who have been impacted by disaster.

Contact Jackie to speak at your next group or business event to help you get prepared for earthquakes or whatever disaster comes your way. Jackie will lead you through the necessary steps helping you identify what is important to you and your family or business.  

Contact Jackie with any questions or to book her for your next event at jackie@survive-it.ca or call (604) 355-2414.  

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