Thankfully, most of us will never deal with a major household or community emergency or disaster. But, luck favors the prepared and that’s why we’ve gathered some tips to help you prepare your family in case the need to evacuate ever arises. 

Talk to your family about your emergency plan

  • Have a family meeting to discuss the most likely emergency situations that could come up where you live and how you could respond.
  • Choose responsibilities for each family member in the event of an emergency such as who will help grandma out of the house or who will grab the First Aid kit.
  • If someone in your household travels a lot, make a plan for how you will respond if they are not in town.

Plan what to do if you get separated

  • Pick two places to meet:
    • Choose a location outside of your house where you will meet if you need to evacuate your home in the event of a fire or other similar emergency.
    • Choose a second location outside your neighborhood in the event you are not able to return home or are asked to evacuate.
  • Confirm that everyone has important family contact information in his or her phone.

Make an evacuation plan

  • Decide where you would go in the event of an evacuation such as a relative or friends’ home in a safe location, a hotel or motel or an evacuation shelter if necessary.
  • Twice a year, practice what route you would take to get there. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
  • Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

You can use this editable emergency preparedness plan from the American Red Cross to help your family be prepared in the event of any emergency.

Let your family know you are safe

If your community experiences a disaster of some kind, you can register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know you are safe. You may also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and select the prompt for "Disaster" to register yourself and your family.

We learned a lot of these tips from someone else! Visit www.redcross.org for more emergency preparedness tips and be sure to share and tweet to spread the word about how to prepare your family for an emergency.

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