Make a Plan
It’s important for you and your family to have a plan for an emergency to help everyone stay calm and to know what to do. You may not be together when an emergency happens, so plan for all locations you frequent, such as your home, work and school. All family members need to know what to do during an emergency; practice your plan to make sure everyone understands their role. Take into account transportation needs of family members, and remember that normal modes of transportation may not be available.
Personal & Family Emergency Plan
Your plan should include:
- Names & phone numbers of key friends & family members; make an In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact card for each family member
- Name & phone numbers of an out-of-area contact person
- Locations and phone numbers of the following:
- Utilities (Electricity/ Gas/ Water/ Sewer/ Phone/ Cable/ Internet)
- Plan for everybody’s needs, especially seniors, people with disabilities, children, non-English speakers, and pets.
- Consider how you will get in touch with your family if there is no phone service or internet.
Plan What to do if You and Your Family are Separated
- Identify two meetings points for your family
- one right outside your home
- one outside your neighborhood, such as a library, community center or place of worship.
- Identify an out-of-town friend or relative that family members can contact if you have been separated. During an emergency, phone lines in your immediate area may too busy for calls to be placed locally. An out-of-state call may get through more easily. i If a voice call will not go through, often text messaging will still work.
- Text & Use Social Media if you are able. This will help keep the lines clear for those who are unable to text or use the internet.
- Make sure your children know who is allowed to pick them up from school if there is an emergency.
Plan for Evacuation
- If you are told to evacuate, it is important to do so. Staying in your home during a disaster puts you and responders at risk.
- Never separate from your family. If you do get separated, designate a meeting spot.
- Always take your go bag with you.
- If you have time:
- secure your home
- close and lock all windows and doors
- unplug appliances
- turn off utilities
- Make a plan for your pets should you be unable to return to get them.