How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster
for you and your family.
Disasters can strike at anytime with or without warning. What will
you do if you are separated from your family? By creating a well thought
out Emergency Plan, you can ensure that you and your family will know what to
do if disaster strikes.
- Find someone to be an
out-of town contact. When disaster strikes, local phone service may
be disrupted. It may be easier to make a long-distance call rather than
to call someone in your town so an out-of-town contact may be able to
communicate quicker among family members.
- Make sure that all
members of your family know the phone number and if possible, have a cell
phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If
you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case
of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency
personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to contact someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve
listed them as emergency contacts.
- Make sure that all family
members are familiar without how to use Text Messaging. This may be
the only way of communicating if phone lines are down.
- Subscribe to local
alert services; most communities have alert systems set up so that you can
receive breaking news on your mobile device.
Making the Right Decision
If an evacuation is not issued but the area is still
dangerous, you may need to make the important decision of staying where you are
or leaving. You should plan for both when creating your
preparedness plan. If
you feel you are in immediate danger then you should leave. Use your best
judgment and do whatever you can to remain safe.
Familiarize yourself with the kinds of disasters,
both natural and man-made, that are most likely to occur in your area and how
you will be notified. Some communities will broadcast emergency information via
the television or radio. Your community may also use sirens to warn of
danger. No matter what method your community uses, you should know what
it is and how to respond.
You may also want to
emergency plans at places where your
family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider
volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work
together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely
reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and
communicate with others in advance.