Family Emergency Plan

Your Family Emergency Plan

Having a Family Emergency Plan is important. We all know that. We remember 9/11/2001. We watch the news. We know we live in a world that unfortunately has the potential to destroy itself in many ways.

Why then do so few of us actually have a Family Emergency Plan, and/or discuss and practice it?

Let me try to make it simple.

First, and most importantly, schedule a family meeting. Bring your pen and paper! Talk about what types of natural hazards exist in your area.

Floods? Tornadoes? Earthquakes? Fires? Include warfare.

I can hear the protests now!

“My child is too young for me to talk to them about war!” Well, if he or she is old enough to think, speak, and act, he or she is old enough to talk about “if something bad happens”. Put it in language you are comfortable with, but please do talk with them about what possibilities of danger there are and how you will respond.

Speaking to children with sincerity and love, you may be surprised to discover their level of understanding exceeds your expectations. Haven’t you heard the stories of the 2-year-old who saved his/her parent’s life by knowing what trouble looked like and calling 9-1-1?


Step 1: Discuss potential hazards.

Step 2: Make a Family Emergency Plan for each potential hazard.

Act them out. (Kids like this more than we do. It will be play to them.)

Step 3: Locate a safe room in your house.

It will be the one nearest the center of the house. It will have the least amount of windows and doors. Declare it your “safe room”.

Step 4: Determine escape routes from the house to the outdoors, and designate a “safe spot” outdoors. Likely, the sidewalk or driveway.

Adults, determine alternate escape routes in case you must pack up and leave the neighborhood. Map them out with a highlighter, and keep these in your glove compartment.

Step 5: Choose an out-of-state contact

This is for all members of the family to use as a single point of contact. Have little ones memorize this number as well as your own.

Family Communication Plan for Parents

Family Communication Plan for Children

Step 6: Practice.

Recite with your children: Stay calm Check for injuries Implement your emergency plan

Step 7: Plan for your beloved pets.

Who will grab which one?

Step 8: Post emergency numbers by the phone.

Make sure children know how (and when) to dial 9-1-1.

Step 9: Check your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Verify it covers your areas potential hazards.

Step 10: Stock from this Emergency Supply List.

Step 11: Purchase a NOAA weather radio.

Keep fresh batteries in it. Change them every 6 months.

Step 12: Replace batteries on your smoke detectors every 6 months.

Step 13: Schedule the family to take a First Aid/CPR class.

Our children went through the entire class at age 5. While they were not able to get “CPR certified” due to their ages, they did learn how to perform it. I am a certified Red Cross Instructor. For more information on scheduling training, contact me at

Step 14: Please remember your elderly and/or disabled neighbors. Include them in your Family Emergency Plan if necessary.