Follow these basic steps to develop a Family Disaster Plan:
Gather information about hazards. Contact the State Emergency Management Office, local National Weather Service Office, and American Red Cross chapter. Find out what type of
disasters could occur and how you should respond. Learn your community’s warning signals and evacuation plans.
Meet with your family to create a plan. Discuss the information you have gathered. Pick two places to meet: a spot right outside your home for an emergency, such as fire, and a place away from your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Choose an out-of-state friend as your “family check-in” contact for everyone to call if the family gets separated. Discuss what you would do if advised to evacuate.
Implement Your Plan
- Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days.
- Assemble a disaster supplies kit with items you may need in case of an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffle bags.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones.
- Install safety features in your house, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
- Teach children how and when to call 911.
- Inspect your home for potential hazards.
- Have your family learn basic safety measures, such as CPR and first aid; how to use a fire extinguisher and how to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home.
- Keep important family documents in a waterproof container.
- Keep a smaller disaster supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
Disaster Supply Kit
- A three day supply of water (one gallon per person per day — check and replace twice a year).
- Foods that require no refrigeration or little preparation such as, canned vegetables, meat & fruit; dried foods (beef jerky/fruit); crackers, peanut butter, and powdered milk (check and replace twice a year).
- One change of clothing and footwear per person.
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person.
- Emergency tools, a battery-powered portable radio and a NOAA Weather Radio, a flashlight & plenty of extra batteries, Swiss army knife.An extra set of car keys and cash.
- Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members & toilet paper.
- A first-aid kit that includes assorted sized adhesive bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, moistened towelettes, antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide, safety pins, needle/thread, scissors, tweezers, soap, aspirin, Syrup of Ipecac, and prescription medicines.
- Baggie with personal items, such as shampoo, toothpaste/brush, comb/brush.
- Small shovel, ax, plastic garbage bags/ties, chlorine bleach.
- Aluminum foil, 3 bags of charcoal for outdoor cooking, lighting fuel & matches, a compact mess kit for cooking & utensils.
A large duffle bag or backpack should be able to hold the majority of your supplies.
Practice and Maintain Your Plan
- Ask questions to make sure your family members know meeting places, phone numbers, and safety rules.
- Conduct drills.
- Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries when Daylight time changes.
- Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Replace stored water and food every six months.