Make a Plan
|Immediately after an emergency, essential services may be unavailable and local disaster relief and first responders may not be able to reach you. An emergency plan is essential to your survival and comfort.
Make an Emergency Plan
Learn about the natural hazards an d risks in your area, and talk to members of your household about what to do in each case.
Assemble disaster supplies for sheltering in place and in case of evacuation. Your emergency supplies should be individually tailored to meet the basic survival needs of your family for three days to a week. Many families store their shelter-in- place supplies in one location in the home, such as a 32-gallon trash can (can be portable if it has wheel), a footlocker or a cabinet. Others pack individual backpacks that can be easily carried if evacuation is necessary.
Plan how household members will stay in contact if separated. Identify at least two meeting places – the first near your home, the second away from your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Also, choose an out-of-town friend or relative as a single point of contact, and make sure each member of your household knows how to reach this person (a wallet-sized contact list for everyone to carry can be useful), by phone and by email.
Make sure everyone in your home knows how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity at the main switches. The decision to turn off your utilities will vary depending on the type of emergency. Consult with your local utilities if you have questions. Their phone numbers can usually be found on your monthly bill.
Determine in advance of an emergency what to do with your pets. Except for service animals, animals are not allowed in public shelters.
Practice y our plan with your family regularly. Take the time to practice evacuating your home, and talk about “what if” scenarios with members of your household. Studies show t hat people w ho have thought about and practiced their emergency plans are much more likely to survive, and recover more quickly from disasters.
Emergency Planning for People with Special Needs
People with special needs may have to take additional steps to protect themselves and their households. If you have family members, friends or neighbors with special needs, you can help them with these additional precautions. Examples include:
Resources for Special Needs Planning
Family Emergency Plan
Pet Emergency Plan