How to Make a Family Emergency Plan (with FREE Printable Checklist)
Take time now to make a family emergency plan so that you have peace of mind if life throws you a curveball. Free Family Emergency Planning Kit included!
A family emergency plan is essential to ensure everyone in your family is on the same page when disaster strikes. Although you may never need it, you’ll be happy you created an extensive family emergency plan if your family is ever faced with a crisis.
It may seem like a daunting task, but it is not difficult to create an emergency plan for your family. Follow these simple tips to make a clear emergency plan for your family.
Know Your Area
Start by understanding why types of emergencies your family may face. Outline the different natural disasters that are common in your area.
Check ready.gov to find out if your area is prone to floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural disasters.
In addition to planning for weather disasters, it’s also important to plan for other household emergencies. Include fires and medical emergencies in your family emergency plan as well.
Build a Kit
The first step in creating your family emergency plan is to build an emergency kit.
Your kit should include a variety of basic necessities, including one gallon of water per person per day (with a supply of at least three days), a three-day supply of nonperishable food, a battery powered radio, batteries, a can opener, wipes, trash bags, a first-aid kit, local maps, and a whistle.
You should also consider extra items your family may need during an emergency.
Families with babies should consider stocking extra formula or baby food. Don’t forget to have a supply of must-have medications on hand, as well.
Finally, pack comfort items for your family like extra blankets, clothing, and shoes in your emergency supply.
Pack a Go Bag
It’s also a good idea to have an emergency bag ready to go in case your family needs to leave your home in a hurry. A go bag should include emergency essentials, like food, water, a first aid kit, matches, a flashlight, and a change of clothes.
This go bag should be in a handy place near your home’s exit or inside your vehicle. Make it easy to access should you need to evacuate quickly.
Plan Your Exit
Some emergencies require your family to stay in your home and make use of your emergency kit. Others, such as a fire or flood, will force your family to leave the house. Whether your family simply needs to leave your home or they need to leave the city, be sure each of your family members are prepared.
Designate a meet-up spot just outside your home in case of a fire. This spot should be a safe distance from the house, but still in clear sight so everyone can be accounted for quickly.
Next, designate a spot to meet if there is a regional emergency that will keep your family from getting home. This spot should be within the area but away from your home.
Finally, you should also pick a spot outside of town in case your family is forced to evacuate at a time when everyone is scattered in different locations. Select each of these spots in advance.
Then ensure everyone in your family knows the plan and acts accordingly in a time of crisis.
Make a Binder
An emergency binder is a great way to keep all your family’s essential information stored in one place.
In this binder, create a page for each family member that includes a recent photo, date of birth, a brief description of their appearance, a list of distinguishing features, and medical conditions. It’s also a good idea to include the emergency procedures of your children’s schools or day care inside the binder. That way, you can be sure you know exactly where to find your children if their school/day care is evacuated.
Your emergency binder should also include a list of important phone numbers. On top of listing important family contacts, be sure to also include numbers for you and your significant other’s places of work, your children’s schools, family doctors, day care, and insurance companies.
If your children will have access to the binder, also include the number for poison control, the local fire department and police stations, and 911.
Hold a Meeting
After you and your significant other have discussed the details of your emergency plan and gathered all the necessary elements, hold a family meeting to talk about each part of the plan with your entire family.
During the meeting, be sure to explain each section of your plan to your children in detail and answer any and all questions they may have.
Your family meeting should also outline fire safety tips and ways your family can work together to make the plan run smoothly in the event of an actual emergency.
You could also get your kids involved in future emergency planning. Ask their input on items in the family’s emergency supply kit or enlist their help to choose a meeting spot outside your home.