4-Step Family Preparedness Plan


In addition to your family disaster supply kit, develop a family
preparedness plan. This plan needs to be known to all family

A basic preparedness plan has four steps:

Do your homework, Create a family disaster plan, Make a checklist and periodically update it, Practice and maintain your plan. Do your homework! Find out what disasters could happen in your area. Contact your local emergency management or American Red Cross chapter to learn which disasters are possible where you live
and how these disasters might affect your family. Request information on how to prepare and respond to each potential disaster. children’s school or day-care center, as well as other places where your family spends time.

Develop a list of important telephone numbers (doctor, work, school, relatives) and keep it in a prominent place in your home. Ask about animal care. Pets may not be allowed
inside shelters because of health regulations. Create a family disaster plan Discuss with your family the need to prepare for disaster. Explain the danger of fire, severe weather (tornadoes, hurricanes) and floods to children.

Develop a plan to share responsibilities and how to work together as a team. Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to occur and how to respond. Establish meeting places inside and outside your home, as well as outside the neighborhood. Make sure everyone knows when and how to contact each other if separated. Decide on the best escape routes from your home. Identify two ways out of each room.

Plan how to take care of your pets. Establish a family contact out-of-town (friend or relative). Call this person after the disaster to let them know where you are and if you are okay. Make sure everyone
knows the contact’s phone number.

Learn what to do if you are advised to evacuate. Make a checklist and periodically update it. Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.). Teach your children how and when to call 911 or your local EMS number for help.

Show each family member how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main valves or switches. Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher (ABC type) and have a central place to keep it. Check it each year. Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms. Conduct a home
hazard hunt.

Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supply kit. Learn basic first aid. At the very least, each family member should know CPR, how to help someone who is choking and first aid for severe bleeding and shock.
The Red Cross offers basic training of this nature. Identify safe places in your home to go for each type of disaster. Check to be sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

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