- Emergency Preparedness
- Make an Emergency Plan
Make an Emergency Plan
Having an emergency plan in place for your family will help you navigate any emergency situation safely. Identify the emergency situations that have happened or could happen in your area and create an action plan for each. Share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan.
Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings. Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials.
** Sign up for "Notify Me" on the Town's website to receive all Town alert notifications.
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.
Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.
Check with your children’s day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include identification planning as part of their emergency plans.
Family Communication Tips
Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
Pick an emergency meeting place.
Things to consider:
Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.
Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.
If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.
Examples of meeting places:
In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend’s home.
Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.
Infants & Young Children
Remember the unique needs of your family members when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.
Diaper rash ointment
Try to make emergency planning fun for young children. Gather your family members together for a quick family meeting, maybe over a pizza or before watching your favorite movie.
The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that ﬁts those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.
There are commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.
Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment. If appropriate, discuss your needs with your employer.
Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration. Make arrangements for any assistance to get to a shelter.
Caring for Animals
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.
The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
If your home is taller than ground level, plan to use an escape ladder from upper floors. Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with these products and is comfortable using them.
Helpful Planning Resources from FEMA:
Family Emergency Communication Planning: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1440520833367b485ed4517c86bc824061197319f4999/Family_Comm_Plan_508_20150820.pdf
Family Communication Plan Template for Parents: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/0e3ef555f66e22ab832e284f826c2e9e/FEMA_plan_parent_508_071513.pdf
Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency