Make A Plan


Your first concern during a disaster is likely to be the safety of your family members. If disaster strikes without warning during your normal, busy day, how will you find each other

Advance preparations can help you check on your family more quickly during an emergency. Nothing else will matter until you know that everyone is safe. 

It is important to prepare and have a Family Disaster Plan

You Don't Need to Get Everything Done all at Once: 

Key Parts of Your Planning:


Preparing for Emergencies 

Children can be especially sensitive to the emotional stress of an emergency. Parents can help prepare children by including them in the planning process and answering their questions about safety. Make sure your children take part in your preparation process and ensure that you have included supplies that make them feel comfortable and safe. 

Additionally, be sure to teach your children the following: 

  • Basic emergency response plans, such as your family evacuation plan and Drop, Cover, and Hold On, and practice them together.
  • How and when to dial 9-1-1; role-play 9-1-1 calls with them. 
  • How to dial your home telephone number and important cell phone numbers. 
  • How to reach an out-of-area family contact. 
  • Their basic contact information. 
  • What natural gas smells like, and what they should do if they smell it. 
  • What to do if a parent becomes ill and the child is home alone. 

School / Day Care 

Know your child's school or day care emergency plan. Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours. Keep your contact information up-to-date at your child's school. Authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency, and let the school know who that designated person is. Put your child's emergency plan card on file at his or her school. 

Additions to the Emergency Kit & Go Bag

  • A recent family photograph 
  • Comfort foods 
  • Toys and games



Planning for Emergencies 

Your pets should be included in your family emergency planning. Many shelters will not permit animals (with the exception of registered service animals), so it is very important that you have a plan for your pets in case of an evacuation. 


Remember to: 

  • Arrange with neighbors to care for your pets if an emergency occurs while you are away from your home and cannot return 
  • Check with local shelters and animal clinics to see if they provide emergency foster care 
  • Know your pets' hiding places so you can find them easily if you need to evacuate 
  • Make sure your pets all have licenses and ID tags 
  • Transport pets in carriers or on leashes during an emergency 

Necessary Items