How to Prepare Your Family For an Emergency
Family emergency planning can be the key to surviving an emergency. That's why it's important to talk to your family to prepare them for various emergencies. Ensure the whole family is a part of the planning process so that the plan addresses everyone's needs. Recognize that in extreme situations, city emergency resources may be limited. Be prepared to care for yourself and your family for at least 3 days.
- Designate a location to meet in case it is impossible to return home or if you have to evacuate. Choose two - one near your home and one outside the neighborhood. Make sure your family knows the address and phone number of both locations.
- Designate on an out-of-area contact person. This person should be far enough away that it is unlikely he or she would be affected by the same emergency. Family members should call this person to report their location if they cannot reach each other. Provide your contact person with important names and numbers so they can assist in keeping others posted on your situation.
- Create an Emergency Supply Kit and a Go Bag. Make sure that all members of your household know where these supplies are.
- Keep a flashlight and a pair of shoes by each bed.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Identify at least two separate escape routes and practice using them.
- Locate your gas main and other utilities. Make sure the entire household knows where they are and how to operate them.
- Familiarize yourself with emergency plans at places that are a part of your everyday life, such as school, work, church, daycare, etc.
- Make sure your home is as safe and secure as possible.
- While making your plan, consider the special needs of children, seniors, persons with disabilities, non-English speakers, and pets in your household.
- Create communications card for each member of your household to keep with them at all times.
Download Family Communications Plan Form.
- Make copies of all important documents and keep them off-site in a secure location. Documents to include: passports, birth certificates, social security cards, wills, deeds, driver's licenses, financial documents, insurance information, and prescriptions.
- Catalog and photograph valuables. Keep these with your second set of documents.