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Below are some useful reference and informational material that will assist you in preparing for a natural or man made threat, the unexpected and the unimaginable. An important facet to Family safety is having a plan and being prepared in case an emergency strikes. It is important so you can increase your personal sense of security and peace of mind and to know you will be ready in case of an emergency. Below are some useful reference and informational material that will assist you in preparing an Emergency Plan.
Military historians tell us that prior to a major offensive, Napoleon Bonaparte would grab his simplest soldier and brief his battle plan.
If you currently have a plan, is it so complex that only you and your spouse know all the details? If you are staying in place, how long do you expect to be without normal services such as power, water, food, medical care and physical security? If you have decided to evacuate, which is probably the best idea if you have adequate advanced warning, do you own a vehicle capable of carrying people, pets and supplies? Before you and your family can execute a family disaster plan, you must first assemble as a family.
The communications plan should also include a specific location close to but outside the home, as well as a neighborhood meeting place where the family will gather in the event home is not reachable. Do not plan on cell phones working, as in most major emergencies the towers may be damaged or clogged with traffic. Finally, a specific route plan should be researched and mapped both on paper and GPS that contemplates alternatives for infrastructure capacity, geographic challenges and considerations for the navigational impacts of different disasters.
If your plan is up-to-date, you deserve kudos because you are among a too-small-percentage who have taken action to prepare for disasters. If you have a Family Emergency Plan, but it’s been more than 6 months since you reviewed it with your family, please consider this a nudge (or an elbow if that what it takes ?? !) to make sure it’s still valid!
Emergencies can happen during the day when family members are usually in multiple locations – at school, daycare, work, running errands, etc. The Plan template file is a 2-page form you can fill in and print, as well as save for the updates you’re going to make when school starts or ends or when other changes to your regular routine make your plan out-of-date. Another good source of a Family Disaster Plan is the Red Cross, which offers a multi-page plan which can be edited with your information.
I also recommend you include in your Family Emergency Plan a visual map of the family meeting place, like this example shown to the right. Creating a Family Emergency Plan isn’t that hard or time consuming, especially with templates and examples like the ones included in this article. When I was 10 years old, I came home one day to find my parents playing with a German shepherd puppy. The Wizard of Oz gave us technicolor, Dorothy and Toto, and “there’s no place like home.” It also gave a few of us nightmares about flying monkeys and green witches, as well as a good look at why tornado preparation is so important.
There’s one thing more frightening than all natural disasters and unexpected events combined—the belief that none of them will happen to you. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disasters, both natural and man-made. When an emergency strikes, knowing what to do can save time, property and most of all, lives. She doesn’t care that you didn’t get enough sleep last night, have a deadline at work, sat in traffic on the way home or have a splitting headache.

FEMA recommends three days, but recent events show that having at least a month’s supply on hand is a good idea. If it is slightly damaged, do you have the ability to adapt or use only a portion of the property? Finding one another is important not just to have everyone pulling together, but because the psychological distraction of locating a loved one can spell disaster to the cohesiveness necessary to survive a life-threatening emergency. Texting (SMS), which uses less bandwidth and typically a separate system from cell phones, is less likely to fail in the event of diminished system capabilities and leaves a semi-permanent message where a voicemail requires a consistent cell signal to function properly. This route plan should also include the criteria for departure, even if everyone isn’t together. However, they can greatly increase their chance of survival by asking tough questions, answering honestly and preparing accordingly.
A Family Emergency Plan documents how your family members can reconnect if you can’t return home or reach each other on cell phones. The first page of the template allows you to document in one place your meeting places and the names and locations of your family members. The Red Cross plan template prompts you to also consider your pets, evacuation routes, and how you will assist family members with special needs. Please sit down with your family as soon as possible and create your own plan – you’ll feel better after you do! Depending on where you live, there is the possibility that certain disasters could force you to evacuate from your home. German shepherds, as you probably are already picturing in your mind, have that ever alert, Rin Tin Tin-ny readiness. While there’s no need for excessive alarm, today’s reality is that natural disasters can and do happen with increasing regularity. When a natural disaster strikes, your first instinct will be to call family and friends to check on their whereabouts and condition. Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with these products and is comfortable using them. Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency.
With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs. Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each.  Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each.
You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations. The three main priorities to emergency preparedness are getting an emergency preparedness kit, making a plan, and being informed.
She chooses to send weather, shift tectonic plates or ignite fires when she wants to, your convenience be damned.
It’s perfectly appropriate to have parts delegated to a family member, but everyone involved needs to know their role and how they fit into the larger plan. Should your family choose to stay in place during or after a disaster, or if it occurs too quickly to avoid, your family will need a plan.
The most obvious route out of town will attract the most evacuees and potentially the most traffic.
Should family members be outside of the typical home area when disaster strikes, the American Red Cross also maintains a “Safe and Well” service where separated family members can log their location and status so the rest of the family can at least have the peace of mind knowing they are safe.
The second element to the actual plan is a list and location of supplies staged or stored for an emergency. Before departing the home, a clear message should be left for friends and family reflecting who departed, when they departed, and what route and destination they have in mind. The second page (shown to the right) has wallet-sized cards that you cut out so every family member can have the Family Emergency Plan in their wallet or bookbag.

It also includes the Red Cross “Safe and Well” phone number which serves as a point of contact for locating people during natural disasters and other emergencies.
In anticipation of certain emergencies or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, or wildfires, local officials often order mandatory evacuations. Share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan. If the emergency is initiated by a terrorist attack, you can almost always expect them to initiate it when it hurts the most.
The stationary plan should reflect the considerations discussed previously, but will require more in terms of certain supplies and less where mobility and transportation are concerned. This means baby food and diapers, essential medicines for those with life- or health-threatening illnesses, and emergency power if medical devices require power to function. Fundamental to this step is a document with the names, home and cell phone numbers, and the email addresses of the members of your family, as well as an out-of-state contact name through whom communications can be routed should typical methods of communications not work.
If the family chooses to evacuate, each should know the designated vehicle, the driver, where each will sit and where each will stow their gear, as well as their primary and secondary responsibilities in regard to packing essentials and loading them into the vehicle. A family disaster plan, even a simple one, to get your family focused and working together on safety and survival is not just critical, it’s the only thing standing between you, them and the indifferent violence of chaos. Not only will rehearsals help tune the kinks out of the process, but the repetition will both help family members learn their respective roles and find solutions to problems the original planners might not have considered.
If you are staying in place during and after a disaster, do you know where you need to be in your home? Each member of the family should have a memorized, if not written, record of these names and numbers, especially children. Choices need to be made by the responsible adults as to which, where and how supplies are stored. Yes, these disasters do occasionally pop up as our friends on the East Coast know all too well. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door. An interior room or a basement is always a good choice, but are there elements specific to your location, surroundings and construction of your home that would compel you to choose otherwise? There’s nothing more pathetic than a box of canned food and no can opener, but this also applies to the ability to boil water and prepare most varieties of emergency food. How far can your vehicle go fully loaded, and is it reliable enough to get to your designated location in all seasons? The out-of-state contact allows responsible adult members to give instructions to gather family members should the circumstances prevent normal assembly at home. Are they in backpacks for a hasty departure or in tubs for easy access but otherwise stored in the corner of a basement? Each family will have to contemplate the costs and benefits of these considerations and make decisions based upon their family’s needs and capabilities. Keep in mind water is for drinking, hygiene and cooking —there is little else more important to the long-term survival of you and your family. What if your primary evacuation location is also within the danger zone you are trying to avoid?

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Comments to “Family emergency disaster plan template”

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