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 take place and should have plans for making sure you are able to contact and find one another. This document outlines three steps to take to create your Family Emergency Communication Plan: collect contact information for your family and other important contacts; make sure everyone carries a copy of this information with them; and have regular household meetings to review and practice your plan. This document also includes fillable wallet-sized cards—simply type in your information for your family and other important contacts and then print them.
Family emergency communication plan.
The American Red Cross suggests some basic steps to make sure you remain safe. Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency.
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 or saved on their cell phones.
Look around places where you spend time. Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts, you drop to the ground, cover your head and neck with your arms, and if a safer place is nearby, crawl to it and hold on. Practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On!”. To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake.
Before an earthquake occurs, secure items that could fall and cause injuries (e.g., bookshelves, mirrors, light fixtures). Store critical supplies (e.g., water, medication) and documents.
When choosing your home or business, check if the building is earthquake resistant per local building codes.
Plan what to do if you have to evacuate. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team. How you will communicate with family members, us your family emergency communication plan. 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 if necessary. 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 phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes. Let Your Family Know You’re Safe.
If your community has experienced a disaster, Facebook has created “safety check“.