WHY HAVE A FAMILY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN?
Would your family know what to do in an emergency? How to find each other if you were separated? Do they know a phone number to call or text to get updates on others in your family? Chances are, they don’t know the answers to all three of these…and THAT is why you need to have a plan!
- Create a plan of what to do in case of an emergency. Designate where to meet within a walkable distance, and two other places of where to meet across town. That way, if the incident is localized, it is easy to meet up with each other. If the emergency is bigger, then you can meet up somewhere safe out of the emergency zone. Write on cards, what time you will meet at each location. Keep a list of contact information and family pictures in your wallet. Designate a family member or close friend out of state as someone to check in with. Practice each month what to do in case of an emergency. To create it online use this ONLINE TOOL for an Emergency Plan or Download and fill out the these Emergency Preparedness forms from www.ready.gov.
- Make a list of important information (contact information, insurance information, etc.). Keep the list in a secure part of your grab-and-go backpack). Also keep a list of what to do and take in case of an emergency, and where the items are located in your house. Base the list on the different scenarios of time that you might have until you have to leave. (Ex. If you have 5 minutes, grab your backpack and bins and go! If you have one hour then also grab predetermined keepsakes, etc). Keep the list in an easy to see area of your house
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
- Teach family members how to use text messaging (also knows as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
- Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.