Expect the Unexpected

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it’s important to plan how you will contact one another and how you will respond in different situations to ensure everyone is on the same page when the time comes.

Prepare with Your Family

After a major disaster, it’s unlikely that emergency response services will be able to immediately respond to everyone’s needs, so it’s important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family. By following some simple tips, you and your family can stay safe in a perilous situation.

  • Plan to be on your own for at least the first 72 hours. Many experts recommend having a two-week supply of essentials on-hand.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so identify an out-of-town contact to help communicate with separated family members. Click here for resources to begin creating your family communications plan.
  • Text, don’t talk! Unless you’re in danger, send a text. Texts often get through more easily than phone calls and will not tie up the phone lines needed by emergency workers.
  • Make sure everyone knows where to find your Disaster Kit and Go Bag.
  • Be sure your gas tank is always at least half full.
  • Plan where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places, one just outside your home and another outside your neighborhood in case of an evacuation.
  • Identify two escape routes from your home. Reference your State Offices and Agencies of Emergency Management to plan.
  • Locate the gas main and other utilities and make sure family members know when and how to turn them off.
  • Practice your evacuation routes.
  • Teach each member of your family how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Consider the special needs of children, seniors or people with disabilities, family members who don’t speak English and pets.

For more tips and suggestions, visit coxalert.com.