The first step in becoming prepared for an emergency as a family, is to discover what kinds of things could affect you where you live, work and go to school.
This certainly means major disasters such as floods or chemical spills, but could be something that affects just your family, like an unexpected illness, or other event.
Here are some simple steps to get you started with your plan.
- Talk about what might happen: blizzard, fire, flooding, etc.
- How would you find out about it?
- Do you know how to contact each other? (See Communications Plan)
- What would you need if you couldn't get out for a few days? (See Building a Disaster Kit)
- What are the most important things to take with you if you have to leave? If you go to a shelter, you may need pillows, blankets, and snacks to eat until the shelter is fully functioning. Think about financial papers, check books, credit cards, etc.
- Plan together about the special needs of your children and others in your family.
- Is there a blanket or special toy loved by a child?
- Is there a member of your family who requires special accommodations?
- Plan for your pets as well. Most shelters will not accept pets.
- Check with your local Emergency Management Director about pets. Take extra food and water for your pet if you have to leave.