Preparedness starts with a plan; a playbook detailing how you and your family will respond in an emergency. When making your plan, think about the people and places in your daily lives. Talk to close friends and family. Work together and talk through scenarios for work, school and other places you spend time.
Write and rehearse family evacuation and communication plans that identify a family meeting place, account for special needs, include emergency numbers and name an Out-of-Town Contact. Get started by downloading our Family Communication Plan template in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF).
The more options you think of today, the more prepared you’ll be tomorrow. Things to think about include:
Identify a friend or relative who lives out-of-town for family members to notify they are safe in an emergency. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than a local one, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to relay messages between separated family members.
Teach family members how to use text messaging and set up group texts in advance of an emergency). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
Think about where you will go with your pet and how you will get there if you have to leave home during an emergency. Plan to shelter your pet at a kennel or with friends or relatives outside the area. Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices outside your "immediate area" that might be able to shelter animals in emergencies as well as a list of pet-friendly lodging in potential evacuation spots.
In planning for an emergency with your pet, look over the following checklist: