Emergency Planning Guide

Developing an emergency plan for any type of natural disaster, earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, or tornado starts with the following steps.

Be Informed
  • Contact your community’s Emergency Management Office or local Red Cross chapter, find out what types of disasters are most likely to happen and request information on how to prepare for each
  • Learn about your community’s warning signals, what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them
  • Contact your child’s school or day care center to understand their disaster plans
  • Learn about the disaster plans at your workplace
  • Review your insurance policy for adequate coverage
Be Educated
  • Learn what to do in emergency situations and then teach your family
  • Teach children how and when to call 911
  • Train family members on how to use a fire extinguisher
  • Learn when and how to turn off the main shut off valves for gas, water and electricity
  • Train your family about how and when to use the Family Communications Plan
  • Enroll in a first aid class and a CPR class
  • Join the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program in your area to help make your community a safer place to live (find out more at www.citizencorps.gov/cert)
Be Prepared
  • Develop and practice emergency escape routes out of your home
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster
  • Put the tools needed to turn off the main gas and water valves near the valves
  • Identify emergency names and phone numbers in and out of state for the Family Communications Plan
  • Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are in working condition
  • Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year
  • Maintain a supply of your essential medications at your workplace
  • Complete your Vital Records PortaVault and keep it up to date
  • Assemble Emergency Supply Kits using the checklists provided for guidance

Additional guidance on developing emergency plans may also be obtained from
Ready.gov, The Red Cross or FEMA.