Are you ready for winter? Prepare your family emergency plan today!

Make a family emergency plan, communicate it and practice. Be Prepared!

 

Winter can create all sorts of unexpected emergencies from power outages and blizzards, road closures and delays. Is your family prepared for these emergencies?

Get prepared today! Start with making a family emergency communication plan that will outline what should happen should an emergency occur. For help in making a plan go to ready.gov/make-a-plan,.

Among some of the things to include in your plan are:

  • Contact numbers for all family members, to include work, school, daycare providers, doctors and other important emergency contact numbers.
  • How to send and receive information to all family members, particularly if the power goes out and mobile phones and computers don't work.
  • Emergency meeting places, which should include spots in your home, outside your home and outside your neighborhood.

Once a plan has been made, communicate it to all members of the family. Make paper copies of the plan and keep it in a variety of locations to include the home, vehicle, purse, backpack, etc. 

Don't forget to practice the plan. 

  • Schedule regular meetings with all family members to review the plan and make changes if necessary. 
  • Practice texting and calling each other to make sure all numbers are correct. 
  • Designate a "lead" person to send out information to family members about where to meet and other emergency needs.
  • Make sure everyone in the household, including children, know when and how to cal 911 for help. Only call 911 when there is a life-threatening emergency.


Other important tips for communicating during a disaster are:

  • Texting is the best way to communicate during a disaster, if you need to make a phone call, keep it brief and convey only vital information to emergency personnel or family members. Keeping calls to a minimum helps minimize network congestion.
  • Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness on the screen,putting it in airplane mode and closing unnecessary apps.
  • Keep charged batteries, a car phone charger and a solar charger available for backup power. 
  • If you charge your phone in your car, make sure your car is in a well-ventilated areas to avoid life-threatening carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If you evacuate and have a call-forwarding feature on your home phone, forward your home phone to your cell phone.
  • Use the internet to communicate via email, Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks. These allow you to share information quickly or to find out if loved ones are OK. 
  • If you have a mobile phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.




 


                                                       


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