From flooding to earthquakes, hurricanes to wild fires and tornadoes – natural disasters are a fact of life in many parts of the country. If you've recently moved to a new locale or have been fortunate enough to not experience any natural disasters, contact the local emergency management office or an American Red Cross chapter to determine the natural or human-caused emergencies most common in your area.
Depending on your childrens' ages, you may want to include the whole family in the planning. There are a variety of natural disasters and emergencies, each requiring different means for survival.
After a disaster, long-distance calls often stand a better chance of getting through than local calls. Set up at least two places family members can meet in case of emergency: one right outside your home in case of fire or other sudden emergency, and one outside your neighborhood if you must evacuate or are away from home when disaster strikes.


Periodically review and practice your natural disaster and emergency plans; this can help keep your family calm and ready to act when an emergency occurs and mere minutes count. While natural disasters can take a toll on our emotional and physical well being, we still need to stand back up and rebuild or fix our homes. Determine a plan – for example, evacuation or shelter-in-place – to handle each type of disaster. If your family gets separated after the disaster and can't reach each other, they should call the designated emergency contact to let that person know their location.
For both, map out routes to get out of the home as well as evacuation routes out of the area in case main roads are blocked or closed. Being prepared by creating a family disaster plan will give you peace of mind should you ever be faced with an emergency.


In addition, know the emergency plans at your workplace and your childrens' schools or child care centers, and go over them with your family. If evacuation isn't possible, designate safe places in your home for each possible disaster. Here’s how to prepare a family disaster plan that will help you weather a natural disaster or emergency and its aftermath.



Planning for emergencies health care facilities
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