Create an Emergency Communications Plan

Your family will cope best by preparing for a disaster before it strikes. Peace of mind can only be achieved if you know where every member of your family is, whether it is your immediate family member or someone impacted by disaster out of state. Having a communications plan will help you to maintain contact with your entire family. Follow these simple steps to achieve your “peace of mind.”

  • Choose an out-of-town contact that your family members can call to check on each other when a disaster occurs.
  • Make sure your family knows these phone numbers. Make a small contact card they can carry for easy reference.
  • Test your out-of-town contact regularly and have them call you, too.
  • Leave these phone numbers with officials at your child’s school.
  • Remember to Help Others. There may be elderly or handicapped residents living in your neighborhood that could use special attention during an emergency. Include them in your communications checklist to remind you to “communicate” your willingness to help them when disaster strikes.
  • Make a list of those neighbors.
  • Ask for their phone numbers and address, only if they feel comfortable with you having them.
  • When an emergency strikes, make contact with those neighbors and see that their needs are addressed.
  • Help those neighbors in developing their own out-of-town contact.
  • When a disaster strikes, remember to always dial 911 for emergency service response. Do not use this number to make inquires, to learn information, or to request non-emergency assistance.
  • During a disaster your 9-1-1 dispatchers are often swamped with calls for help. Make sure your call is of an emergency nature. This will guarantee that those people who really need help will get it.
  • If you have questions or concerns that are not of an emergent nature, try dialing your local government business phone number or flag down one of the many municipal vehicles that will be driving through your neighborhood.
  • Teach your children how to place an emergency call, always stressing the importance of using this number only for emergencies.