Every worksite has an Emergency Response Plan in place, but what about your home? One of the most effective ways to prepare your family for a disaster is to create a family emergency plan. Meet with your family to discuss how to prepare for different types of emergencies, such as fire, severe weather, floods, or other common hazards in your community. Your plan will help family members understand what to do during emergencies. Don’t forget to include your pets.


Step 1: Build a communication plan

Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Plan how to meet or how to contact one another, and discuss what you would do in different situations.

  • Make sure all family members are aware of emergency contact information. Post these or keep an organized binder for information.
    • Utility companies with account numbers
    • Emergency contacts and phone numbers
    • Physician name and contacts
    • Emergency Services (fire, police, ambulance)
  • Keep important family documents in waterproof and fireproof containers or boxes.
  • Have two predetermined meeting places.
    • Choose a meeting place that is close to your residence and one that is outside of your neighborhood, in case you are unable to return to your home, where you and your family can meet during an emergency.


Step 2: Your home

Keep enough emergency supplies in your home for 7-14 days or more if possible. Assemble a family emergency kit.Hand completing Emergency Preparation List by Equipment

  • Water
    • rule of thumb is 1 gallon per person
    • don’t forget about your pets
    • try to change out the water every 6 months if you are able.
  • Food
    • have enough to make meals for 7-14 days if room allows
    • high energy foods and canned foods (with can opener) that have a longer shelf life
    • don’t forget about your pets
  • Energy Resources (Heat/Light)
    • extra flashlights with batteries and/or
    • candles with matches or lighter (be careful with open flames)
  • First Aid
    • available first aid kit and adequate supplies
    • if you use it, replace supplies as required from your local store
    • remember there are first aid techniques and procedures located in the first aid kit user guide
  • Medications
    • have an inventory of family member required medications with extra supplies as required
  • Fire Safety Plan
    • practice fire drills annually
    • store flammable chemical properly
    • ensure fire extinguishers (ABC) are available throughout the home
    • check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and batteries replaced annually
  • Utilities
    • learn how to turn off water, natural gas, and electrical box
    • teach family members how to disconnect when required
  • Clothing
    • make sure you have available clothing for all types of weather; rain, snow, and summer
  • Misc items
    • blankets
    • battery operated radio
    • batteries
    • duct tape
    • tool kit
    • pet supplies
    • knife or utility tools.

Be proactive and don’t be afraid to talk to your children about preparing for different types of disasters. Kids are better able to handle the stress of a crisis when they know what to expect. Being prepared and ready ahead of a disaster is the most critical action you can take to protect the things that matter most: your family, your home, your pets, yourselves.


Make your own Family Emergency Plan at the following link: