Family Emergency Plans
Emergency preparedness means planning ahead so you and your loved ones can respond to emergencies that might bring harm to your home, family or community.
- Sit down and talk with your family about what to do if there is a house fire, a tornado, a winter storm or public health emergency. Discuss what you would do in the event of a major disease outbreak.
- Develop an emergency contact list for each person in your family. If you are a caregiver, or have older adults to consider safety for, the "just in case" booklet will provide a guide for creating a plan of action.
- Discuss with your family who you would call and where you would meet in response to different emergencies.
- Make a list of prescription medications and dosage rates for each person in your household.
- Make sure you account for your pets in your planning. Unfortunately, emergency shelters cannot accept animals so make arrangements for your furred, feathered or finned loved ones when you talk with your family about your emergency plan.
- Create a kit with food, fresh water, a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, extra batteries, a can opener and first aid items are just a few supplies that will come in handy during a winter storm, after a flood or in the event that you are asked to shelter-in-place. Make sure you have enough to eat for everyone in your home, including your pets, for at least 3 days.
Practicing your plan will help your family know what to do in an emergency. Regular practice helps all people, including children, develop confidence that they know what to do in an emergency.
- Update medical and household documents on an annual basis.
- Make sure all family members know where important papers are kept, including phone numbers of relatives.
- Carry an up-to-date emergency contact list in your purse, backpack, briefcase or wallet.
- Encourage your children to talk about their school emergency plans as a way to begin discussing other emergency plans in your family. Allow your children to discuss their feelings about emergencies, disasters and the unknown. Help reassure them that you will do everything possible to keep them safe. The National Institutes of Health have a comprehensive information sheet on helping children cope.
- Ask your employer about their emergency plans. Employees should practice where to go and what to do during an emergency at work.
- Go through the household emergency kit with your loved ones every 6-12 months. Update contact information, replace bottled water and food as you go through the kit.
Participate In Your Community
Get involved in emergency preparedness activities in your community. Volunteer!
- The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) offers training and activities to help others during a public health emergency.
- Emergency and Community Health Outreach (ECHO) provides health information to residents with limited English and welcomes financial and creative support.
Stay connected. Know your neighbors.