Have an Emergency Plan

Know What to Do in Case of an Emergency

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It is important to make sure that the entire family is prepared and informed in the event of a disaster or emergency. You may not always be together when these events happen and should have plans for making sure you are able to contact and find one another.

Get Started:

  • Meet with your family or household members.
  • Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, work, and go to school.
  • Identify and assign responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
  • If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.

If you’re separated:

  • Choose two places to meet:
    • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
    • Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
  • Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person.
    • It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.
    • Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing. You can use these free printouts from FEMA to record and organize the information.

If you have to evacuate

  • Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location, or go to an evacuation shelter.
  • Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
  • Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

Once you’re safe

  • Let Your Family Know.
    • If your community has experienced a disaster, use text messages and social media to let family members know you’re safe versus using the phone. Phone lines will be needed by emergency responders, and you may have difficulty getting through.
    • You can also register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website or call 1-800-RED CROSS and select the prompt for “Disaster” to register yourself and/or your family.
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