Written by Brooke Strickland for Nannies Plus

Whether it’s an earthquake, flood, fire, or other disaster or emergency that requires your family to leave home quickly, it is important to have an emergency plan in place that everyone in your family and on your family team knows about.

When you hire a new nanny or family assistant to work in your Sonoma County, San Francisco, East Bay, or Marin home, be sure to make reviewing your emergency plan part of your onboarding process. Go over the emergency plan in detail so your new hire is looped in and ready to execute it if needed.

Not sure what to include in your family emergency plan? Here are some tips.

First, make sure all of the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home are working and have fresh batteries. It’s wise to check these monthly or bi-monthly. Ensure each room also has a fire extinguisher, that you have a fire ladder for second-story bedrooms, and that you have a first aid kit that is stocked with the essentials.

Next, create an emergency contact list. Include the addresses and phone numbers of important family members and friends, as well as your doctor’s name and office phone numbers. In case phone lines are down, consider adding neighbors’ names to the list, as they may be more easily accessible in an emergency. Keep a digital copy of your emergency contact list, as well as a hard copy in an easy-to-see place, such as on the refrigerator. If you have a “nanny bag” or diaper bag, be sure to keep a hard copy there, too.

Then, create a “go bag.” Fill a bag or backpack with all of the most necessary items that you’d need easy access to and can take with you in the case of an evacuation. This may include important medications, water bottles, snacks, clothing and shoes, and important documents, including a hard copy of the emergency contact list and a medical release form authorizing your nanny or family assistant to seek medical care for your children in an emergency. Include only the most important items so that the bag is easy to transport and keep the bag near the most appropriate exit on your emergency evacuation route.

It is also important that you have access to warning alerts so public safety officials can relay important messages to you.

Click here to read about the various alert systems that are available during emergencies or disasters, and ensure you are signed up to receive important announcements in case of a disaster.

Finally, make sure that all of your emergency instructions and plans are detailed in writing and accessible on paper, online, or in a text message. Also, confirm your nanny or family assistant knows your home address and major cross streets by heart, understands where your safe meeting place is, and has all emergency contact numbers with them.

For more tips, Ready.gov provides a variety of helpful emergency planning tips and has customizable resources. Red Cross also offers emergency preparedness information, planning tips, and other publications, including emergency supply kit lists.