Making an effective plan includes two main components that prepare you for hazards in your locality and enhance your personal readiness, as well as that of your family: (1) a written emergency plan and (2) a written communication plan.
A written emergency plan is used to formalize your preparations. In reading the plan, everyone in the family should understand what to do, where to go, and what to take in the event of an emergency. Your plan needs to take into account special concerns, such as caring for very young, wounded, ill, injured, and elderly family members, protecting your property, retaining critical personal and financial records, and caring for your pets.
An effective communication plan is a written record (a sheet or card) that instructs each member of the family to call an agreed upon point of contact and how to communicate critical information like location and status with each other in an emergency. Have contingencies in place to use social media or texting in the event phone lines are down.
Navigate the following links and documents below to find useful information to help your family develop written plans for emergencies and prepare for various actions you may have to take. In particular, note the ready-to-use forms for a Family Emergency Plan and Contact Cards, as well as the Home Escape Plan Worksheet.