Organize your life. Get Prepared
Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during an emergency (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school, camp or at a friend’s house). This plan should also address how your family plans to reunite after the immediate crisis passes.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person. During and immediately after a disaster, it is often easier to access a long distance telephone number than a local one. Also, it is important to remember that if telephone service is disrupted due to high volume, text messages and the internet often can be a viable alternative for communicating with family.
As part of a Communication Plan, you should create a personal support network and a list of contacts that include caregivers, friends, neighbors, service/care providers, and others who might be able to assist during an emergency. It is important keep a list of contact phone numbers in a safe, accessible place (particularly if your cell phone is lost or dead). Make sure everyone within your family knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.
To ensure you will be able to reunite after a disaster, it can be helpful to designate two meeting areas for family members – one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of the community, so a second location outside of your community would be more accessible to all family members.
A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies.