Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. How will you get in touch with each other? Where will you meet? What if your neighborhood is being evacuated? It's important to make a plan now so that you will know what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency. Think about how you will communicate in different situations. Complete a contact card for each family member. Have family members keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, backpack, etc. Pick a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. By choosing an out-of-state contact, the likelihood of that person being impacted by the disaster is reduced; this person becomes a conduit for family members to relay information back and forth as family members check in with this person.
Let your family know you’re OK!
Ø Pick the same person for each family member to call or email.
Ø Text, don't talk, unless it's an emergency. It may be easier to send a text, if you have a phone, and you don't want to tie up phone lines for emergency workers.
Where to meet following an emergency?
Ø Create a fire escape plan that has two ways out of every room and practice it twice a year.
Ø Choose a meeting spot near your home, then practice getting there.
Ø Choose a spot outside of your neighborhood in case you can't get home. Practice getting there from school, your friends' houses, and after school activities.
Ways to reunite following an emergency:
There are also tools on the web for friends and family members to register online following an emergency to help reunite. One of these tools is the Safe & Well Program through the American Red Cross. After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. The American Red Cross Safe and Well Website is a way for people affected by a disaster to enter information regarding their welfare so family and friends can check their status.
Download and print the FEMA Emergency Contact Card below: