Family Disaster Plan
MAKE A PLAN
Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan. Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
Once you’ve collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss the information to put in the plan. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.
Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.
GET TECH READY
According to The American Red Cross, the internet – including online news sites and social media platforms – is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.
Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies and/or disasters. With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs.
Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
If your home is taller than ground level, plan to use an escape ladder from upper floors. Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with these products and is comfortable using them.
WHERE TO MEET
Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency. Record the locations.
Disasters not only affect community infrastructure and public works, but they often overcome family finances, making recovery difficult and sometimes impossible.
Obtain property, health and life insurance if you do not have them. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards.
store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records and other important papers in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box away from your home. Make copies of important documents for your disaster supplies kit.
GET A DISASTER KIT
You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them. Having such information handy should make the registration process for FEMA benefits smoother, should you be involved in a presidentially declared disaster.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. The best way do this is to have a 72 hour kit also called a Bug-Out Kit. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your Bug-out Kit kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.