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  • Family Communications Plan

    A family communication requires some degree of advanced preparation, basic steps, and logical thinking. On a normal day, think about where you and your family go, how often you are separated, and how you use phones, text messaging, or email to communicate where you are and what you are doing. When a disaster strikes, your family may not be together and if land lines or cell phone towers are un-operational, how will your family meet up and make sure everyone is safe? Families need to plan now on what they will do in different situations.Consider the structure of your family. Do you have a traditional family structure with two parents, or are you a single parent? Is one of your parents out-of-town or are both here? Do you have extended family members that need to be included in your plan? Do you have pets that are considered family members?

    #1: Have a Family Meeting – Discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, chemical spills, and other disasters that are most likely to happen in our area. Identify individual family roles in preparation for an emergency situation and explain what to do in each case.

    Pick two places to meet – one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency and another outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Make sure everyone knows the address and phone number of that meeting place. Also, it may be easier to dial out on a long distance line rather than local telephone lines during an emergency event. Identify an out-of-town contact so that each family member can call and tell them where they are and get information on the location and condition of other family members.

    #2: Prepare Contact Cards & A Family Plan – Now that your family has all the information, print contact cards to carry with you. Have everyone fill them out and if possible get them laminated.

    Print the Family Communication Plan and make sure your family knows where it is.

    #3: Practice & Maintain Your Plan – Quiz your family every now and then on your plan. Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills and make sure you keep telephone numbers up-to-date.