Go To Search
GovernmentDepartmentsCommunityBusinessI Want To
Be Prepared
Your Family Disaster Plan

Register to get Alerts on your Phone

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services-water, gas, electricity or telephones-were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.

Families can and do cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Follow the steps listed to create your family’s disaster plan. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

Four Steps to Safety

1. Find Out What Could Happen to You
Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and American Red chapter and ask the following questions: What types of disasters are most likely to happen and how can I prepare? What type of community warning signals are in place, what do they sound like, and what should I do when I hear them? Is there a place for animal care after a disaster? Next, find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or daycare center and other places where your family spends time.

2. Create a Disaster Plan
Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.

3. Complete This Checklist
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.)
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number of emergency help
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, electricity at the main switches
  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it’s kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.

4. Practice and Maintain Your Plan

Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.)
Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number of emergency help
Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, electricity at the main switches
Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it’s kept.
Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.

For more information Disaster Preparedness you can go to the American Red Cross website.