Disaster can strike unexpectedly and your family may not be together at the time so it is important to plan in advance. Planning should include how you will get to a safe place, how you will contact each other, how you will get back together, and what you will do in different situations.
You can download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids which will help you to organize emergency phone numbers and meeting places. You should also prepare an emergency kit (see Step 2) that the entire family is familiar with.
Identify hazards that have happened or can happen in your area and familiarize yourself with plans for each. You can sign up for emergency notifications(see Step 3) that will help you to stay informed about what is happening in your community.
Individuals with access and functional needs You may need to take additional steps to prepare. You should: Inventory what you use every day to live independently. Identify the essential things that you will need to be able to survive for 3 to 5 days or longer, if people cannot get to you. Stock your emergency kit with the essential items you need such as medical supplies, dietary foods, manual wheelchair, or service animal supplies. More information on functional needs programs.
Senior Citizens Seniors may also need specialized items in their emergency kit. These items can include extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration. Make arrangements for any assistance to get to a shelter. More information on senior citizen plans.
Pets If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! You do not know when you will return and animals cannot take care of themselves. Remember, many shelters you go to may not allow animals so you will need to plan in advance for alternatives. Develop buddy systems with your neighbors or friends/loved ones who are nearby that could take care of your animals in the case that you’re not available. You can use the Pet Owners Brochure to create a plan for your pet.