Household Disaster Plan

If a disaster strikes, it is important to have a plan of action for you and your family.

 

Utilize a Family Emergency Plan or a Household Disaster Plan.

 

Make a plan:

  • Meet with family or household members.
  • Discuss how you will prepare and respond to emergencies that are likely to occur in your area.
  • Identify responsibilities for each member of your household, e.g. who will pick up the children? shut off the utilities? etc.
  • If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
  • Teach children how and when to dial 9-1-1 to get emergency assisstance.
  • Teach children how to make long distance phone calls.
  • Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches. If you turn off natural gas service to your home, call your gas company to restore service.  Do not attempt to restore service yourself.
  • Take a Basic First Aid and CPR class.
  • Keep family records in a waterproof and fireproof safe.

Plan where you will meet:

 

  • Plan a meeting place near your home for immediate emergencies such as fire.
  • Plan a meeting place outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or have to evacuate.

Plan how you will communicate:

 

  • Identify an out of town contact. It may be easier to make a long distance call if local phone lines are down during a disaster.
  • Make sure every family/household member knows the contact number.
  • Make sure every family/household member has coins, a cell phone or prepaid phone card. 
  • If you have a cell phone, program your emergency contact as "ICE" (In case of Emergency) in your phone. 
  • Teach family/household members how to use text messaging.  Text messages may work when a phone call cannot get through.

Plan to stay or go:

 

  • Use common sense and available information to determine if you should stay where you are or evacuate.
  • LIsten to the radio, watch television, or check the internet often for official information and instructions.

If you need to evacuate your home:

  • Review escape routes with your family and practice escaping from each room.
  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut, and that security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening so they can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches. If for any reason you turn off natural gas service to your home, call your gas company to restore service. Do not attempt to restore service yourself.
  • If your residence has more than one level, consider getting escape ladders.
  • When escaping fire, teach family members to stay low to the floor.

If you need to evacuate your area:

  • Identify ahead of time where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • If you don’t have a car, plan alternate means of evacuating.
  • If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case you need to evacuate.
  • Plan several escape routes in case certain roads are blocked or closed. Remember to follow the advice of local officials during evacuation situations.
  • Take your Emergency Supply Kit.
  • Take your pets with you, but remember that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. You can find more information about what to do with your pets in an emergency on the Pet Owners page.