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Family Disaster Plan in Case of a National Emergency or other Disasters

Updated on August 5, 2011
Example of a Contact Card for Family Disaster Plan
Example of a Contact Card for Family Disaster Plan | Source

Thinking back to that fateful day of September 11, 2001, one thing sticks out in my mind: my family was not with me. My husband was at work and two of my children were in school. I was home alone with our one year old son.

As I listened to the news and watched the events unfold, I became very anxious. I wanted to have my family home with me. I wanted my husband to come home from work which would provide a sense of security for me and I wanted my other children home so that I knew that they were safe.

This event was something that none of us were expecting and many of us were not prepared for. The question for us now is what plan do we have in place not if but when something of this magnitude happens again? What should we do if we are seperated during a national emergency or natural disaster? What should we do if we are not all in the same location when disaster strikes?

  1. Decide on a safe location to meet. This location could be a school, church, other public place, or even a neighbor's home.
  2. Designate an out-of-state relative or friend as your family's point of contact. Create a contact card with their name, land line telephone number, cell phone number, and email address. Have each member contact them to tell them where they are located.
  3. Post emergency telephone numbers on your contact card and on the back of the card place the Family Disaster Plan. Place this card by the telephone, on your refrigerator, in you wallet or purse, and in your children's book bags. Also make sure that your children know when and how to call 911.
  4. Listen to the authorities to know if you should evacuate to a safer place or remain in your home. If you have older children who drive themselves to school or work instruct them to do the same. If you need to evacuate, take your disaster supply kit with you.
  5. If you have any elderly or disabled neighbors, please check on them and include them in your family plan if they have none.

  6. Plan on how you will take care of your pets.

  7. Review and practice this plan on a regular basis.

Please remember that whenever a disaster or emergency strikes to remain calm. Tune in to a local radio station or news channel and follow instructions.


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    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Where in Ohio are you? I'm in Parma, south of Cleveland.

    • Carrie Hollister profile image

      Carrie Hollister 6 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you Sharyn.

      My dad lives in the country about a half hour away from me by car so if something were to happen and we ever had to, I would like to plan on heading there and living off of the land if needed!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Great tips here Carrie! I remember how lost I felt on 9/11 and for a long time after. That first day was such a fog trying to find out where everyone I cared about was and if they were okay. And I do think you are right - it is a matter of when - not if. Thanks for a great piece.