Family Emergency Plan

Have a plan in case disaster strikes

Now is a great time to make a family emergency plan. Since all family members may not be together if a disaster happens, it is important to have a plan that details who to contact, where to meet and what supplies to have on-hand. 

Who to contact

Pick the same person for each family member to contact. Pick someone out of town because they may be easier to reach in a disaster. Text, don’t talk. In an emergency, phone lines may be tied up. It may be easier to text and this leaves phone lines open for emergency workers.

Where to meet

Decide on safe, familiar, accessible places where family members can go for protection or to reunite. If there are pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly options. Consider places in the house, in the neighborhood and outside of town so everyone is prepared for any situation.

Practice, practice, practice!

Write down family contacts and emergency plans. Make sure everyone in the family has copies of these and keeps them in a safe space like in a backpack, wallet or taped inside a notebook. Put them in family members’ cell phones. Hold regular household meetings to review and practice the plan.

Supplies to keep on hand

An important step in creating emergency plans is building an emergency supply kit. The kit should include water, food, cash and other supplies to last for at least three days. Here is a sample list of items to include:

  • Water—at least a gallon per person per day
  • Non-perishable food (such as dried fruit, peanut butter, energy bars)
  • First aid kit
  • Cash
  • Prescription medicines
  • Extra batteries or an alternative power source
  • Matches in a waterproof container (allow an adult to help)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Flashlights
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Can opener (manual)
  • Area maps
  • Pet and service animal supplies
  • Baby supplies (formula, diapers, etc.)
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses

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