One of the goals in FEMA’s Resolve to Be Ready initiative is for families to have an emergency plan outlining how you will communicate and find family members when a disaster strikes.
They emphasize that your family may not be all together in a disaster. Children may be at school; parents may be at work. For this reason, it is important to think about various situations and practice what you will do in each situation.
FEMA also recommends that each person in the family have a contact card in their purse, backpack or wallet. This card should have identification information as well as out of state emergency contact information of a family member or friend who can be reached in an emergency. Family members can contact this person to notify them that they are okay and where they are if a disaster strikes.
Your emergency contact should be programmed into your cell phone and labeled as ICE, which means ‘in case of emergency’. If you are injured and unable to contact anyone, emergency personnel will look for this number to call your emergency contact.
Of course, you will want to notify the person you choose so they know they are your emergency contact.
You should also teach your family to text emergency info in a disaster. Even if you can’t call because the networks are too busy, a text can often get through. This way, you can notify your family members that you are safe and tell them where you are.
Find out the emergency plan for your school, place of employment and church so you know how a disaster will be handled. Print this Family Emergency Plan pdf to make a plan for your family. It gives you an outline for your emergency plan as well as contact cards for each family member.
A copy of this plan should be kept in your emergency kit. In fact, it would be smart to keep a copy in your home kit as well as your car kit, and any place else that you keep emergency supplies, such as at work.
Do you have a family emergency plan?