Make a disaster plan with your household members to prepare for what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency. Make a plan that best suits your needs and the needs of your household.
- Decide where your household will reunite after a disaster. Identify two places to meet: one right outside your home and another outside your neighborhood, such as a library, community center, or place of worship.
- Identify all possible exit routes from your home and neighborhood.
- Designate an out-of-state friend or relative that household members can call if separated during a disaster. Keep in mind that cell phones may not function during and immediately following a disaster due to high volume of activity; however, text messages can often get through, even if you can't make calls on your cell phone. What's more, if cell phones aren't functional, using a landline or a payphone (to call your out-of-state contact) is a good alternative.
- Plan for everybody's needs, especially seniors, people with disabilities, children, non-English speakers, and pets.
- Ensure that household members have a copy of your household disaster plan and emergency contact information to keep in their wallets and backpacks.
- Practice your plan with all household members.