Family Emergency Plan
Preparing in advance can help keep your family safe during an emergency or disaster. The Rush Emergency Management Committee has prepared this family emergency plan based on recommendations from the American Red Cross and FEMA.
What You Can Do
- Learn about your community's warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them.
- Find out about the disaster plans at your work place, your children's school or day care center, and other places where your family spends time.
- Determine who will pick up and watch over children if they must leave school.
- Identify relatives or friends who can care for your children or elderly family members if you must stay at work.
- Think about pet care after a disaster. Animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters due to health regulations.
- Prepare to help elderly or disabled neighbors or family members, if needed.
Make a Plan for Your Family
- Meet with your family to discuss why you need to prepare for a disaster.
- Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.
- Pick two places to meet: 1. Right outside your home in case of sudden emergency, like a fire. 2. Beyond your neighborhood in case you can't return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.
- Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact's phone number.
- Write information on family communication cards and give a copy to each family member to keep with them at all times.
Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your family's needs for at least three days. Assemble a portable Disaster Supply Kit with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks or duffle bags, and place them near the most frequently used exit. Keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car. Include:
- A three day supply of bottled drinking water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Canned or sealed packaged food requiring no cooking or refrigeration, include a can opener and utensils
- One change of clothing and footwear per person
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person
- A first-aid kit and prescription medications
- Battery powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries and a whistle
- An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks
- Toiletries and sanitation supplies
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
- Map of the area.
Complete This Emergency Checklist
- Post all emergency phone numbers by telephones and enter into cell phone contact lists.
- Teach children how and when to call 911.
- Show family members how to turn off the water, gas and electricity to your home.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher (ABC type) and teach all family members how to use it.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home. Test them and change the batteries at least once a year.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home.
- Determine the safest spot in your home for disasters such as tornadoes.
- Practice and maintain your disaster plans.
Additional Resources for Family Disaster Plans
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security