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Creating a Family Disaster Plan

1. Contact your local American Red Cross or Office of Emergency Management

    • Find out which disasters are most likely to affect your community
    • Find out how to prepare your home and yourself for each type of disaster
    • Find out how you will be warned or advised of emergency information.
    • Learn CPR and First Aid

2. If you have children contact their school or day care and find out what their plans are in the event of a disaster and how to reunite with your children.

3. Meet with your family

    • Discuss the types of disasters that could occur
    • Discuss how to prepare and respond to each disaster
    • Discuss how to evacuate every room in your home
    • Decide where to meet if you cannot get home
    • Decide on who to use as an out-of-area contact
    • Discuss emergency supplies
    • Practice what you have discussed

4. Survey your house with your family

    • Post emergency contact numbers by each phone
    • Learn and practice how to shut off water, gas, and electricity at the mains
    • Install smoke detectors on each floor of your house, especially in bedrooms.  Check them monthly and change batteries twice a year.
    • Move heavy objects to lower shelves
    • Secure tall furniture and pictures to wall studs
    • Strap water heater to wall studs

5. Buy and store emergency supplies

6. Meet with your neighbors.

    • Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster.
    • Consider how you could help your neighbors who have special needs.
    • Make plans for child care in case parents cannot get home.