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Individuals and families: Plan


Do you have a plan?


After a major disaster, it is unlikely that emergency response services will be able to immediately respond to everyone’s needs, so it’s important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family. Plan to be on your own for at least the first 72 hours.


Here are some simple steps to help you and your family plan now:

  • Make a household/family emergency plan. Involve all key people in planning and make sure your plan is in writing.
  • Put together an emergency supply kit. Plan to have supplies for yourself and your family for at least 3 days following a disaster.
  • When planning, consider the special needs of children, seniors or people with disabilities, family members that don’t speak English, and pets.
  • Designate an out-of-area contact person - Try to select someone that is far enough away to not be affected by the same emergency. Provide this person with the names and contact information of the people you want to keep informed of your situation. Instruct family members to call this person and tell them where they are. Long distance phone service is often restored sooner than local service.
  • Duplicate important documents and keep copies off-site, either in a safety deposit box or with someone you trust. Documents may include: passport, drivers license, social security card, wills, deeds, financial statements, insurance information, marriage license and prescriptions.
  • Inventory valuables, in writing and with photographs or video. Keep copies of this information off-site with your other important documents.
  • Make your home safe – Eliminate hazards.