Public Safety Message: Family Emergency Plan

thumb-safety-message-1-23Unexpected disasters come in a myriad of ways. Whether the disaster is a house fire or flood, earthquake or tornado, every day, thousands of families are forced to make quick decisions that can have lasting consequences. Having an established family emergency plan can save critical time and allow the members of your family to remain safe and calm in tense situations.

There are three things you can do today to help your family prepare for an emergency: 1) consider the specific needs of your household, 2) fill out a Family Emergency Communication Plan, 3) practice your plan with your household.

Consider the specific needs of your household.
Some families have young kids, others have teenagers. Some families have pets while others live with grandparents. Whatever your daily needs and responsibilities involve, be sure to include them in your plan. Here are other factors you may want to consider:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities
  • Pets or service animals

Fill out a Family Emergency Communication Plan. has a ready-to-fill-out online form that you can submit to receive an emailed PDF copy. The plan includes important information such as home address and phone number, names of family members, emergency contacts and medical information. Fill out your own form by visiting

Practice your plan with your household.
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in different situations. It is also a good idea to go over escape routes, meeting places and simple first-aid. Make sure questions are being asked to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Additional information on family emergency preparedness can be found at

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