Are you ready for the potential disasters that could occur in our community?
Being prepared to respond is the single best way to be safe during a disaster, and it is only a three-step process.
Step 1: Make a Plan
Creating an emergency plan is the first step your family should take in order to be prepared for disasters. Planning should be a family effort, with input from everyone involved. Use this guidance to create a plan of your own.
- Schedule a family meeting when everyone can attend to identify local hazards.
- Discuss how you would respond to each emergency that could impact your family.
- Draw a floor plan of your home and mark escape routes.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. Remember that text messaging is the preferred method of communicating during disaster events. Have all family members practice sending text messages.
- Identify an out-of-state friend or relative to serve as communication hub for extended family members. Communicate your family’s location and condition with this person.
- Post emergency contact numbers near all home phones. Smart phone apps are also available for this purpose.
- Have a radio in your home to hear emergency information when alerts are received.
- Select two meeting places for your family to gather. One location should be outside your home. Select the second location outside your neighborhood.
- Adults in the family should learn how to turn off all utilities at main switches and have needed tools available.
- Children should be taught how to call 911 in emergencies.
- Choose shelter locations for
– Severe weather & chemical hazards: Decide where you will take shelter from severe weather. Keep the location clean and have emergency supplies on hand.
– Evacuation: Will you evacuate to a friend or relative’s home? A hotel in another town? Make sure these locations will accommodate your pets.
- Be sure that all family members have three ways to receive warning. A weather alert radio is the best choice for your home. In addition, select and install an app that sends alerts to all family members’ phones.
When your planning is done, create a written copy of your family plan. You can develop your own format or use a fillable template like the one found here:
www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m12140360_ARC_Family_Disaster_Plan_Template_r083012.pdf. You can also use a smart phone app to develop your plan, but make sure all family members have access. Review and practice the plan at least 4 times a year.
Contact: Paula Cain, Emergency Management Director, 767-038