Plan Ahead

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

  • Meet with household members to discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, and other emergencies. Explain how to respond to each.
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.
  • Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark 2 escape routes from each room.
  • Show family members how to shut off water, gas, and electricity at main switches when necessary.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911, police, and fire.
  • Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
  • Pick 1 out-of-state and 1 local friend or relative for family members to call if separated during a disaster - it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area.
  • Teach children your out-of-state contact's phone number.
  • Pick 2 emergency meeting places:
    • A place near your home in case of a fire.
    • A place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
  • Take a basic first aid and CPR class.
  • Keep family records in a water and fire-proof container.
  • Discuss safety procedures when returning home.
  • Don't forget about your pets.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household