Meet with your family to establish a plan.

* Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate. Pick two places to meet. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire. Or, outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. 

* Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be your “family contact.” Family members should know your contact’s phone number and call this person to tell them where they are. After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Your selected contact should live far enough away that they are unlikely to be directly affected by the same event as you.

Write down all of the contact numbers and information on a family emergency contact card. (See below) Make sure every family member has a copy. Your children should have these numbers at school and the numbers should be at your workplace. Write the contact numbers on each telephone

Mark down your local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio and tv stations near each telephone.

Discuss the types of disasters that could happen. Explain what to do in each case.

Find safe spots and escape routes in your home or office for different types of disasters.

Consider how you would help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly, disabled persons or infants. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.

Discuss plans for taking care of your pets.

Know how and where to turn off water, gas and electricity in your home at the main switches. If you need tools to disconnect utilities, keep them nearby.    

Place a record of your plan with your disaster survival kit. Refer to it on occasion to update and refresh your memory.

Meet with neighbors. Know your neighbor’s skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons.

Re your survival kit: Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh, rotate your stored food every six months, re-think your kit and family needs annually. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.