What do you when a disaster hits that requires evacuation, either before the disaster or after? What happens if you and your family get separated during a disaster? Preparing a plan of action in the event of a disaster is an important part of getting through it. Here are some steps you can take before a disaster to help make it through.
- Make sure everyone in your family knows how to send a text message on a cellular phone. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call can’t get through.
- Pick two places to meet outside of your home. One close to your home like a neighbor’s home, and one outside of your neighborhood in case an emergency forces you to leave your neighborhood.
- Pick two out of town contacts for family members to call in case they are separated. Designate one a primary contact and the other a secondary contact.
- Make sure everyone knows the contact numbers and has some way to get in contact with them. If your family members have cell phones, program the contact numbers into them as ‘emergency contact’ instead of their name.
- Post emergency contact numbers near your phone. If you don’t have a home phone, post them somewhere they’ll be easy to find.
- Identify the safe places in your home to take shelter during a disaster. The places might be different based on the type of disaster; your basement is a save place in a tornado, but not in a flood.
- Keep the original version of important documents in a safety deposit box. Keep a copy of them in your disaster kit, and send a copy to be kept with a relative.
- Practice your plan. Practicing your plan allows you to respond quickly and appropriately during an emergency. Try to practice at least twice a year. Practice not only makes the plan more familiar, but gives you an opportunity to check that everything in your disaster kit is up to date.
Visit these pages for more tips for keeping your family safe during a disaster: