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Make an Emergency Plan

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Get your entire family involved in the emergency planning process. Discuss why you need to prepare for disaster and the types of disasters most likely to occur to your home and in our geographic region. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team. Disaster preparedness planning be educational, fun, and lifesaving.


Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen and what to do in each type of situation. Also determine how you will communicate with one another in the event of a disaster.

 Prepare a chart with your own personalized Emergency contacts.

  • Tune into local TV and radio stations following alert messages from the Emergency Alert System. Follow instructions from emergency management officials.
  • Learn about your community's disaster warning signals, what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them. Siren tests occur on the first Tuesday of the month.
  • Familiarize yourself with your city and county's emergency action plan.
  • Ensure that your mobile device is able to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
  • Sign up for FREE Nixle alerts to stay informed.
Designate a Meeting Place

Pick two places to meet and make sure everyone knows the addresses and phone numbers:
  • Immediately outside your home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire.
  • Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
Determine Evacuation Routes

Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Determine the best two escape routes out of your home, neighborhood, from your children's school, day care center, your workplace or anywhere your family members spend time.
Know Emergency Phone Numbers-Including your out-of-state contact
  • Ask an out of state friend to be your family contact. After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact's phone number.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and make copies for each member of the family to carry with them.
  • Teach your children how and when to call 9-1-1.

   Prepare a chart with your own personalized Emergency contacts.

Build or Purchase a Disaster Kit

Put together your own Go-Kit or purchase a disaster kit. Either way, your disaster kit should contain essential supplies to see you through a minimum of three days. It should be checked and updated every six months.

Get Trained

Learn Basic First Aid, CPR and other safety training. Someone's life may depend on it.

Senior and Special Need Planning

Older adults, senior parents or people with disabilities may have special needs that need to be considered in your disaster plan.
  • Set up a buddy system to check on one another in the event of an emergency or arrange for someone to check on you.
  • If you have home health care service, plan ahead with your agency for emergency procedures.
  • Teach those who may need to assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment.

   Guide for Individuals with Disabilities & Others with Access and Functional Needs

Remember Pets

If you are like millions of pet owners nationwide, your pet is an important part of you household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency or disaster, such as a fire, flood, tornado, or terrorist attack, will depend on how well you plan in advance. If you must evacuate your home, take your pets with you if possible. Here are a few things to consider.
  1. Be sure to have pet carriers for all your pets. If you need to go to a shelter, they may not be accepted without one.
  2. Are all your pets wearing collars and ID tags with their name? If not, be sure to include information on the carrier with your name, and several emergency telephone numbers.
  3. Include a photo of your pet on the carrier as well. If they escape and become lost, you or the shelter will have a better chance of finding them.
  4. Do you have a friend or family member who would let you stay in the home with your pets if you had to leave? Are there pet-friendly motels nearby? Know where your local emergency animal shelter is located.
  5. Carry your veterinarian's telephone number on your list of emergency numbers in case your pet becomes ill.
  6. Prepare a Go-Kit for your pets.
Visit the Humane Society's disaster planning brochures, for more information about protecting your pets and animals.

Because of health regulations, many shelters do not allow pets. Prepare now for the day when you and your pets may have to leave your home.

Other Disaster Recovery Plan Considerations
  • Make sure you or someone in your family knows how to turn off your utilities such as electricity, water and gas.
  • Confirm that you have adequate disaster insurance coverage.
  • Ensure the frame of you house is bolted to the foundation.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt to minimize damage to your home and to people who may be inside your home during a disaster.
Practice and Review

Practice your evacuation plan twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassible or gridlocked. You should review your disaster plan periodically to make sure information is updated.