Though we don’t like to think about it, disaster can strike without a moment’s notice. And the best way to keep your family safe is to be prepared.
A Family Emergency Plan is a great tool to ensure your family is on the same page and remains safe and calm in the face of an emergency.
What to include in my Family Emergency Plan?
1. Safety Zones:
This begins with a knowledge and understanding of the types of disasters that can affect your area
a. Evacuation Route – As a family, go through each room in your house and determine the quickest and safest way to escape that room in the case of an emergency
b. Shelter Plan – Pick a few spots to cover different situations.
i. One inside your home (in case of earthquake or tornado)
ii. One outside your home (in case of fire)
iii. One location out of town (in case of severe weather or evacuation)
This should include how each member of your family will receive local emergency alerts (TV, text, radio, etc.) and a means of keeping in contact with one another.
Be sure to have a list of emergency numbers posted in your home and/or saved in your cell phones for easy access.
- Numbers for each family member (work, school, childcare)
- Police Station/Fire Department/Hospital
- Poison Control
- Out-of-town emergency contact to reach and check in with during a disaster situation
3. Disaster Supply Kit:
A kit is a convenient way to have everything you need in one place in case of evacuation or emergency. This kit should include basic necessities to help your family survive on your own for at least 72 hours and should also include important documents that you would need to take with you.
The Department of Homeland Security gives instructions on how to build a kit that is customizable for your family.
- Review your kit once a year to replace expired or broken items
- Tailor your kit to your family’s specific needs (pets, seniors, infants)
Once you have your Family Emergency Plan in place, make sure you write it down in detail and practice, practice, practice. Twice per year is a great goal to set to ensure that everyone stays on the same page and feels prepared for any emergency.