Preparing Your Family for an Emergency

Preparedness tip #1

Take a minute to imagine there is an emergency, like a fire in your home and you need to leave quickly. What are the best escape routes from your home? Find at least 2 ways out of each room. Now write it down-you've got the beginning of a plan.

Preparedness tip #2

Pick a place to meet after a disaster. Designate 2 meeting places. Choose one right outside your home, in case of a sudden household emergency, such as a fire. The second place you choose needs to be outside your neighborhood, in the event that it is not safe to stay near or return to your home- e.g., pick a friend's house, a church, a shopping mall.

Preparedness tip #3

Choose an emergency contact person outside your area because it may be easier to call long distance than locally after a local/regional disaster. Take a minute now to call or e-mail an out of town friend or family member to ask him or her to be your family's designated contact in the event of an emergency. Be sure to share the contact's phone number with everyone in your family. During an emergency, you can call your contact who can share with other family members where they are, how they are doing, and how to get in contact with you.

Preparedness Tip #4

Complete an emergency contact card and make copies for each member of your family to carry with them. (or click here for our Family Communication / Emergency Plan form). It may be easier to reach someone out of town if local phone lines are out of service or overloaded. you should also have at east one traditionally wired landline phone, as cordless or cellular phones may not work in an emergency. Visit Red Cross or  for sample emergency contact cards.

Preparedness Tip #5

Dogs may be man's best friend, but due to health regulations, most emergency shelters cannot house animals. Find out in advance how to care for your pets and working animals when disaster strikes. Pets should not be left behind, but could be taken to a veterinary office, family member's home or animal shelter during an emergency. Also be sure to store extra food and water for pets. For more information, visit Red Cross Animal Safety  or visit the Humane Society Web site.

Preparedness Tip #6

Go through your calendar now, and put a reminder on it-every six months-to review your emergency plan, update telephone numbers, and check supplies to be sure nothing has expired, spoiled, or changed. Also remember to practice your fire escape or other disaster plans.


Creating a Disaster Planning Kit and click here and here

List of hospitals

Prepartation TIps for Specific Types of Emergencies

Disaster Planning for Pets