To get started on a Family Disaster Plan, contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross chapter.
Meet with your family.
- Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community.
- Ask how you would be warned.
- Find out how to prepare for each.
Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster.
- Discuss the types of disasters that could occur.
- Explain how to prepare and respond.
- Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate.
- Practice what you have discussed.
Complete these steps.
- Pick two meeting places:
1) a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire.
2) a place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
- Choose an out-of-state friend as a "check-in contact" for everyone to call.
Meet with your neighbors.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone.
- Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity at main switches.
- Install a smoke detector on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries two times each year.
- Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.
- Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information and training.
Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can't get home.
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