Having a plan is one of the most important steps you can take in disaster preparedness. Knowing what to do and how to do it can help you and/or your family manage disasters with less worry, fear and uncertainty.
Review the following points as you develop your own basic emergency plan:
Decide what you and your family would do in each potential emergency situation.
Draw a floor plan of your home showing escape routes.
Choose a place away from your neighborhood where family members can meet in case you are separated and cannot return home due to a disaster.
Identify a friend or relative who lives out of the area for family members to contact if you are separated.
Post emergency numbers by every phone in your home and teach children how and when to dial 911.
Know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches in your home.
Plan how to help elderly or disabled neighbors in a disaster.
Check that your insurance policies are up-to-date and provide good coverage.
Family Communication Plan
A family communication plan, prepared in advance, can help you and your loved ones stay in touch in the event of a sudden disaster or other emergency.
Create a Plan
Use a separated sheet of paper or notebook to prepare contact information and telephone numbers for your family members and/or close friends in your community, as well as a nearby neighbor. You should also establish an out-of-town contact.
Designate Meeting Places
Choose a spot in your neighborhood where family members can gather if your home must quickly be evacuated. Designate another location in the community to go to if family members are away from home and unable to gather at your neighborhood meeting place. Include these in you plan.
Distribute Your Plan
Make copies of your plan and give them to everyone on your list, with instructions to keep the plan with them at all times, in a purse, wallet or backpack. Place copies in your vehicles' glove boxes and in your home.
Emphasize with everyone the need to contact one another as soon as it is safe and possible after a disaster strikes. update your plan on a regular basis.