Making a family emergency plan is a crucial action you can take to cope with disaster. Follow these eight steps and be ready to deal with three different situations.
A family emergency plan means you are ready for three scenarios if disaster strikes:
- Your family is scattered: You and your loved ones are not in the same place.
- You are confined to your home and can’t leave.
- You must evacuate your home.
- Make a list of things you will need to do and bring with you, in addition to your evacuation kit, if there is a disaster.
- Make an evacuation plan for your home. Find a main exit and an alternate exit for each room.
- Agree on a meeting place to reunite with your loved ones if you are not in the same place when disaster strikes.
- Identify a safe place where you and your family can stay if evacuation is required or if you can’t go home.
- If you have a pet, figure out where he or she can stay.
- Make sure you know how to turn off water, gas and electricity if need be.
- Make an inventory of your goods, with proofs of purchase, photographs or videos. Keep these documents and a copy of your home and car insurance policies outside your home, in a safe place, or in electronic format (USB drive, e-mail, etc.).
- Let family members know about the plan and practice it together.
This online resource from the federal government will help you make your plan.
Where to keep your plan
Keep your family emergency plan in your emergency kit or in a place that is easy to remember and easy to access. You can also keep copies of the plan in your vehicle, at your workplace, and in digital form on your computer.