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Disaster Family Emergency Planning Before (Part 1)

Disaster Family Emergency Planning Before (Part 1)
Tools & Tips

Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires. Any of these can leave your home or community devastated. It is important that you have an emergency disaster plan to ensure your family’s safety, and have the ability to communicate and reconvene when the danger has passed.


When identifying a local convening spot – consider somewhere central that everyone knows.  You may want to consider a local store where you can stock up on food and supplies. Also, have a regional meeting area in case your town is evacuated.

Sometimes long distance calls work when local calls don’t, so designate an out-of-state family member as your call check-in point.  Everyone in crisis should contact this family member and alert them to their location and indicate whether they’re safe.

You’ll also want to create an emergency disaster kit. This kit should include critical items like water, flashlights, batteries, matches, lighters, candles, maps, non-perishable food and communications equipment like a battery-operated radio and cell phone with phone charger.  A first aid kit is important of course, as is a change of clothing and a blanket for each family member. Other items to include:

  • Emergency supply of necessary medications and medical supplies
  • Spare glasses and contacts, contacts supplies
  • Plastic utensils, paper plates, napkins & can opener
  • Baby supplies, if applicable
  • Pet food, toy, bowl, bed
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Garbage bags

Put copies of important documents such as insurance policies, prescriptions, identification and bank account records along with cash and an extra credit card into a waterproof container such as a dry box that you can buy at a boating supply store.

Make sure each family member has a copy of the plan with the emergency contact person’s name, address, phone, and email information. Create a wallet-sized version and laminate it. Discuss the plan with the family regularly, and particularly before a large storm is coming. Surviving a natural disaster is all about preparation. Don’t leave your family’s safety to chance.

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