Are You Ready? Step 5: Testing the Plan

Community Emergency Response Team drills on rescue techniques.

Community Emergency Response Team drills on rescue techniques.

Note: In honor of National Disaster Preparedness Month, we are posting a daily series of stories about steps you can take to better prepare your household for when disaster strikes. The goal is to be ready for at least a two-week interruption of food, fuel, communication, and service suppliers, which is what can be expected in a serious, regional disaster.

Things can happen pretty fast in a house fire. Will your plan work in the crunch?

"When was the last time you had a home fire drill?" asked Greg Walsh, City of Salem Emergency Director. For many people, the answer may be "never."

Fire drills can help detect any potential snags in your plan, and help assure that using your plan is second nature if the real thing ever strikes.

"Fire drills, as easy as they are, save lives," Walsh said.

You can also learn how to be better prepared for disasters in your home, in your neighborhood, and in your community, by signing up for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training. The CERT Team trains volunteers to assist their communities when a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community's professional response. Become a member by contacting the City of Salem Fire Department's Emergency Manager. 

Ready Step 4

By now you have some of the food and supplies you need to be prepared. Today, we're focusing on first aid, and home fire safety. It's important that, in a house fire, everyone knows what to do and how to get out safely.


  • Test your smoke alarms and verify they are working and less than 10 years old



Success Tip: Test smoke alarms on the first payday of every month: 40% of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms; 17% of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with fire alarms that weren't working.

Ready Step 1: Are You Ready for What's Coming?

Ready Step 2: The Right Tools Always Help

Ready Step 3: Planning for the Long Haul

Ready Step 4: If Fire Strikes

More Information and Resources


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555 Liberty ST SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301
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