Family Disaster Plan

Make sure your family is prepared when a disaster strikes.

Prepare for hazards that affect your area with a Family Disaster Plan.

  • Where will your family be when disaster strikes? They could be anywhere, at work, at school or in the car.
  • How will you find each other?
  • Will you know if your children are safe?
  • What would you do if basic services – water, gas, electricity or telephones – were cut off?
  • What will you do if forced to evacuate?

Plan To Evacuate

Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Whether regional natural disasters, localized transportation or hazardous material disaster, community evacuations do become necessary. Local officials provide information to the public through the media or through robo-calls.

The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. If the event is a weather condition, such as a hurricane that can be monitored, you might have a day or two to get ready. However, many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.

Steps To Take

Gather information about hazards. Find out what type of disasters could occur and how you should respond. Learn your community’s warning signals and evacuation plans. Assess your risks and identify ways to make your home and property more secure.

1. Meet with you family to create a plan.

  • Pick two places to meet: a spot outside your home for an emergency, such as fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
  • Choose an out-of-state friend as your “family check-in contact” for everyone to call if the family gets separated.
  • Discuss what you would do if advised to evacuate, and review this information periodically.
  • Learn the local emergency evacuation routes.

2. Implement Your Plan

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and save them in your cell phones.
  • Install safety features in your home, such as smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
  • Inspect your home for potential hazards (items that can move, fall, break or catch fire) and correct them.
  • Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid; how to use a fire extinguisher; and how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number.
  • Keep enough supplies in your home for at least 3 days.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffle bags. Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller disaster supplies kit in the trunk of your car.

3. Practice Your Plan

Once you have developed your plan, you need to practice and maintain it. For example, ask questions to make sure your family remembers meeting places, phone numbers, and safety rules. Conduct drills for evacuating. Test fire alarms. Maintain a supply of fresh batteries. Replace and update disaster supplies.


For More Information on what to pack, View Supplies Kits

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