Make sure you can answer,
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family communication plan?
- Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
All families are different, so make sure your plan includes specific needs.
- What are the different ages of your family members?
- What are your responsibilities for assisting others?
- What are your dietary needs?
- What are your medical needs?
- What disabilities do you need to consider, and what are your functional needs?
- Do you pets or service animals?
- Schedule occasional family conferences to discuss procedures to follow different kinds of emergencies.
- Establish a location for family members to reunite if you are separated.
- Arrange for a friend or relative in another town to be a communication contact for the extended family.
- Know the emergency plans of you family's schools, day-care centers, workplaces, and clubs.
- Find out where your main utility switches are, and how to turn them off if they rupture and trained technicians are not available.
Create a family emergency communication plan.
- Collect and create a paper copy with contact information for your family and other important numbers.
- Make sure you share this information so everyone carries a copy of the plan.
- Regularly review and practice your plan.
Important numbers to include in your plans
- Home phone number
- Cell phone numbers
- Numbers for each family member
- Fire Department
- Poison Control
- Insurance Provider
- Electric Company
- Gas Company
- Water Company
- Have an evacuation plan for your pets. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets inside, so know a safe place for pets before an emergency happens.
- Develop a buddy system. Plan with neighbors, friends, or relatives to make sure someone is available to evacuate pets if you are unavailable.
- Have your pet microchipped. Make sure the contact information is up to date.
- For large animals,
- Make sure they all have a form of identification.
- Evacuate animals as early as possible.
- Make vehicles and trailers available to transport animals.
- Make sure destinations have food, water, veterinary care, and proper equipment.
Build a Survival Kit
- Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and external batteries
- Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
- Keep a kit in your home, your work, and your car.
- Never ration drinking water unless ordered to do so by authorities. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow. Minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
- Drink water that you know is not contaminated first. If necessary, suspicious water, such as cloudy water from regular faucets or water from streams or ponds, can be used after it has been treated. If water treatment is not possible put off drinking suspicious water as long as possible but do not become dehydrated.
- Don't drink municipal tap water, or water from any questionable sources, until it has been strained with a clean cloth and treated. To treat water, add ten drops of chlorine bleach to each gallon of water, mix well, and let stand for about 30 minutes.
- Do not drink carbonated or caffeinated beverages instead of drinking water. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body which increases the need for drinking water.
- Store at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Choose foods your family will eat.
- Remember any special dietary needs.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High-energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
- Keep food in covered containers.
- Keep cooking and eating utensils clean.
- Throw away any food that has come into contact with contaminated flood water.
- Throw away any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more.
- Throw away any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
- Use ready-to-feed formula. If you must mix infant formula use bottled water or boiled water as a last resort.
- Don't eat foods from cans that are swollen, dented or corroded, even though the product may look safe to eat.
- Don't eat any food that looks or smells abnormal, even if the can looks normal.
- Don't let garbage accumulate inside, both for fire and sanitation reasons.
Managing Food without Power
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if it is unopened.
- Freezer foods will last from 48 to 72 hours if the freezer is full and the door stays closed.
- Refrigerated or frozen foods should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below for proper food storage.
- Use a refrigerator thermometer to check temperature.
- Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than four hours.
- Discard any perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more.
FEMA Emergency Commuter Plan
FEMA Family Communication Plan
FEMA Family Communication Plan Fillable Card
FEMA Guide to Safeguarding Critical Documents
Survival Flash Drive