Families can cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. You can do this by making a family disaster plan, getting basic emergency training, and assembling an emergency kit full of essential supplies, which will help you endure an evacuation or home confinement.
Make a Family Disaster Plan
- Learn about emergency procedures at work, schools, and anywhere your family spends time.
- Identify escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Find safe locations in your home for tornadoes and sheltering in place.
- Pick two places to meet:
- Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency (like a fire)
- Outside your neighborhood if you can't return home
- Pick a family contact in another state who everyone can contact if separated in an emergency.
- Conduct emergency drills at least once a year.
- Locate utility shutoffs and determine what you can shut off safely in an emergency. Print our fill-in-the-blank form.
Get Basic Emergency Training
- Take classes on first aid and CPR.
- Teach your family how and when to call 911 and how to use fire extinguishers.
- Learn how and when to turn utilities off. Teach all age-appropriate family members, and keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves.
Don't Forget The Pets
It is essential that you do not leave pets behind in an emergency. Planning in advance is as important for your pet as it is for you. Never leave your pets behind to fend for themselves.
What To Do Before an Emergency
- Not all free shelters allow pets. Contact hotels to learn about their pet policy. Make sure you check with some hotels outside of your immediate area.
- Ask friends and family members if they would be willing to keep your pet during an emergency.
- Obtain a copy of your pets medical record (store these in a plastic zip lock bag). Make sure this paperwork includes your veterinarian's phone numbers.
- Accustom your pet to being boarded with unfamiliar pets. Many facilities offer day care options