Family Disaster Plan
How to Prepare for a Disaster
Be Disaster Ready! Have a Plan. Share it with others.
Families come is all sizes.
Each member of the Family needs to be taken into account when planning
for a Disaster.
So the first step in making a Family Disaster Plan is to gather the family together.
Write down your Disaster Plan.
Have everyone help in the planning.
Place it in a spot where it can be readily seen.
Practice your plan on a regular basis.
Take into account each member of the family and any Special Needs
that family member has.
In a Disaster or Emergency situation, your family will best be able to cope
with the event if they are prepared.
Make two lists, one for Disasters and one for Emergencies.
Emergencies are generally of a Medical nature.
To be prepared, take a CPR and First aid class.
This should be done every year to maintain your skills and your confidence level.
Make a list of each family member's medical needs.
Does someone have a heart condition, or diabetes, or asthma,
or allergies or...?
Is anyone on medication, either prescription or over the counter?
Learn what to do if someone stopped breathing, or had chest pains or drowned
or ingested something poisonous?
Practice what you learned in your CPR/FA class.
Talk about your Plan with Family members and friends.
Post your Plan next to the phone or on the refrigerator.
Teach your children when and how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Post your Doctor's and Veterinarian's number(s) next to the phone
along with your Utility Companies numbers.
Disasters are generally considered coming from Nature,
although some are Man Made.
Some give you time to react, such as a Hurricane or Tornado or Wildfire.
Some give you no warning at all, such as an Earthquake, a House fire,
or an Industrial Explosion.
Determine what types of Natural Disaster are most common in your area.
Plan for any type of Environmental Disaster, such as a Chemical Spill
from a Factory or from a Tanker Truck accident on the highway,
a Train Derailment, or a Commercial Fire.
Have your Disaster Supplies and Emergency Kits ready to go.
Make sure your Family members know what to do in each situation.
Discuss the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or
daycare center, and other places where your family spends time.
Check with your local Humane Society about their plan to assist the animals after a Disaster.
Does your Community have warning signals to tell you of impending Disaster?
Is your neighborhood Disaster Ready?
Making Your Plan
Get your family together and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.
Explain the dangers of a house fire and severe weather that can occur
in your area.
Include the children.
Share the responsibilities and work together as a team.
► Write down and explain what to do in each situation.
► Decide on two places to meet:
1. Right outside your home in case of a fire.
2. Outside your neighborhood in case you are away and can’t return home.
Everyone must know your address and phone number(s).
► Have an "out of the area" phone contact.
After a disaster, often cell phones or local phone lines will not work.
As soon as you can, check in with your designated phone contact,
who can keep track of where everyone is and if they are all right.
► Remember to include all your family members: elderly, disabled,
children and pets.
► Post Emergency Telephone Numbers by all of your phones.
Include your local numbers for Fire, Police, Ambulance, Doctor, and
Utility Companies, along with any others you feel necessary.
♦ Teach your children how and when to call 9-1-1 for Emergency help.
Call 9-1-1 only if the emergency is life threatening! If it is not life threatening,
call the local number.
♦ Make sure you have at least one "Land Line Phone".
If there is no power, cordless phones and phones set up through your computer
or cable television service will not work.
♦ If calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone, in most states you will connect
to the Highway Patrol. Program your Local Fire and Police Department
numbers in everyone's Speed Dial, and practice how to use it.
This way your call goes directly to the local Departments.
► Find the best Emergency Exits from your house.
Try to find at least two exits from each room.
► Designate the "Safe Spots" in your house for each type of Disaster
if you need to "Shelter in Place" or until you are told to Evacuate.
► Make sure each adult in your home knows how, and when, to turn off
the utilities (water, gas, and electricity) at the main switches.
► Make sure you have Fire Extinguishers (the ABC type) in your home.
Decide how many you need, and where they will be kept.
You can go to your local Fire Department for Information and Training.
Take the kids! They love to visit the local Fire Station.
► Make sure you have Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors installed.
Ask for placement information while you are at the Fire Station.
Remember to test your alarms once a month and replace the batteries
twice a year.
► Have a Home Hazard Hunt. Go from room to room and check for anything
that could be a Safety issue.
The kitchen, bathrooms and garage are full of hazards, especially to children and pets.
Make sure you have safety latches
on cupboards and cabinets where you store cleaning supplies and solvents.
► Take a CPR and First Aid Class.
► Have your Disaster Supplies and Emergency Kits handy.
► Check with your Insurance Company to make sure you have the correct coverage,
whether you own your home or rent.
If you cannot afford to be "fully covered" in case of total loss, get as much as you can afford.
Some reimbursement is better than none.
Practice and Update Your Plan
► Discuss and update your Plan on a regular basis.
When things change, make sure your Plan changes too.
► If company is staying over, or you have a babysitter or pet sitter,
make sure they know the Plan.
Practice your Fire Drill and Evacuation Plans on a regular basis
(at least twice a year), and make one of the drills a surprise.
Discuss what went right, and any improvements that might be needed.
► Quiz your children so they remember what to do.
If they have friends over, make sure everyone knows the drills.
You can empower your children by having them teach their friends
what you do at your house in an Emergency.
► Make sure to show guests where you keep the Disaster Supplies and Emergency Kits.
► Remember to check your Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Detectors
twice a year.