How to Make a Disaster Plan

Having a plan can help you get back to normal more quickly, if you’re effected by a natural disaster.  These tips can help you protect yourself, your loved ones,and your property in the event of an emergency.

How to Make a Disaster Plan

Protect Your Home and Property:

  • Strengthen and secure windows, doors and any weak points in your home’s construction.
  • Store any free-standing items (like birdbaths and lawn chairs) indoors. This will prevent damage and helps keep these objects from becoming dangerous themselves.

Prepare Your Vehicle:

  • Keep vehicles fueled and in good repair.
  • Keep an emergency kit inside each vehicle. Your kit should include food, water, blankets, flares.
  • Secure your vehicle in a covered area or garage. Close the windows and doors.

Keep a List of Contact Phone Numbers Handy:

  • Include all emergency numbers, such as 911, police, fire department, ambulance and poison control.
  • Include numbers of family and friends you may need help from or may need to be informed about an emergency.
  • Pre-program your emergency contact list into your cell phone.

Keep a Disaster Kit on Hand:

  • Include basics like: first aid items, a flashlight, a radio, batteries, non-perishable food, water, blankets, a listing of important phone numbers, a cell phone, charger and other necessary items (like medications, prescription glasses, or pet food) in a backpack or duffel bag.
  • Store it close to the main exit of the home, in case you’re forced to evacuate before a disaster.
  • Pack what you may need for family members with special health needs – including medication or special food. For example, a diabetic may need their insulin as well as some high-sugar drinks or snacks in case of a reaction.

Have a Plan for Your Pets:

  • If at all possible, don’t leave your pets behind.
  • Most human disaster shelters do not accept pets, other than service dogs, so be sure to plan ahead.
  • Make sure your pet has proper identification, in case it’s separated from you during the disaster.
  • Find a comfortable carrier for your pet, so you can easily transport them in an emergency.
  • Create a Portable Pet Disaster Supplies Kit. Find out what to include on the American Red Cross website.
  • Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, veterinarian or emergency management office for information on caring for pets in an emergency. And determine locations where animals can be treated if they are seriously injured.

Develop a Communication Plan

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends an emergency communications plan in you’re separated from one another during a disaster.
  • Include a plan for reuniting.
  • It’s also a good idea to ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact” in case of a disaster, as it’s often easier to call long distance.
  • Review the plan with all members of the family. And take it for a test run with the members of your household.
  • Review your plan at least once a year.


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Published: 3/5/2020