Emergency Planning

Crafting a Family Emergency Plan: Essential Elements

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

crafting a family emergency plan

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Keeping you and your family safe should be a priority during times of crisis. Doing what's best for your loved ones involves being wise and making the best decisions, such as creating a family emergency plan.

However, developing one takes time. This guide covers all the essentials to create an effective energy family plan and provides tips and guidance to ensure you and your family are safe during times of uncertainty.

Key Takeaways

  • Having a family emergency plan helps ensure your family is protected. Whether it's a natural disaster or a public health crisis, an emergency plan will better prepare you.

  • A family emergency plan should be well thought out and include important information. Typically, it has a communication strategy and an evacuation plan establishing a defined meeting point.

  • There are always ways to improve your family emergency plan. Practices such as doing drills and staying informed can help you make small improvements to the plan.


The Importance of Crafting a Family Emergency Plan

A family emergency plan increases the chances of your family’s safety during an emergency event. The plan typically includes instructions on what to do to ensure safety.

Establishing a family emergency plan reduces the time it takes to respond appropriately to threats. However, it requires adequate planning and consideration of such events to make them effective.

For example, in a natural disaster such as a nearby wildfire, a good family plan should address “how to act, where to go, and how to communicate.” In this scenario, you could gather certain essential items, head to a safe location from the wildfire, and reach out to emergency contacts.

In most cases, not every family emergency plays out the same way. Having various plans can help your family be more flexible in responding to various emergency situations.


What Should a Family Emergency Plan Include?

what should a family emergency plan include

Here are some important things to consider as you construct your emergency family plan.

Communication Plan

A well-thought-out communication plan involves establishing who to contact and how to do so during an emergency.

Create a list of emergency contacts for services or trustworthy people you know can help. Document the list and place it in an accessible location for easy access.

Within the emergency contact list, include the means of reaching out, which may be phone numbers, email, and location addresses, as well as any other means of contact, such as social media accounts.

Evacuation Plan

When developing an evacuation plan, identify the threat, and determine the best means of escape based on the event.

Making emergency plans for various scenarios, such as natural disasters, a break-in, or a national emergency, can help tailor the plan for the most efficient and safest evacuation method.

Map out the most effective evacuation routes and include details of alternative routes to take if one direction is not feasible. Include details on modes of transportation and note any items you should bring with you.

Have a Grab-and-Go Bag

Creating an accessible grab-and-go bag with essential items should be at the top of the list when developing any sort of evacuation plan.

To determine what items are essential to include in your bag, consider the nature of the threat. If it's a situation where you won't have access to the house for a prolonged period, include a change of clothes.

In addition, always include items you or your family can’t live without, such as essential medications. Incorporate basic necessities like food and water as well.

Remember to put the grab-and-go bag in a convenient location that’s quick and easy to reach during an emergency.

Take Essential Documents

Documents are one of the most common things people forget to take during an evacuation. Don’t make that mistake. Some documents, such as IDs, communication information, or irreplaceable legal papers, can lead to challenges later down the road when they aren’t in your possession.

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Specialist at FEMA, Nick Miller, advises:

“You have to prioritize. What is the most important stuff to get out? I always say that is clothing, food, your emergency shelter supplies, and your important papers. I would have all your important papers and documents backed up.”

One recommendation is to make copies of any important documents that you have. Create both physical and digital versions so you will always have a backup. Of course, there might not be time to grab hard copies if evacuation from an emergency is urgent. Storing important documents online ensures their safety.

We have you covered if you want reliable online storage to protect your important documents. Trustworthy offers an online platform to store and organize all your essential documents for later access. In the event of an emergency, you can rest assured knowing everything is kept safe and organized whenever you need it.

Meetup Location

Knowing where to meet up during a family emergency is essential. Choose a spot before the crisis occurs.

When determining a meetup location for your family, you must consider certain factors. One is how accessible the location is for all of your family members. Ideally, find one centralized location that’s achievable for all members to reach.

The meetup location must also be accessible during the emergency itself. If the known threat could block off the location, have an alternative strategy for your family to reach safety.

Consider reevaluating family emergency plans from time to time to determine their effectiveness. Do an emergency drill to test and gauge if it's the right means of evacuation for you and your family.

Plan for Shelter-in-Place Scenarios

Sometimes, there are emergencies where it’s safer to shelter in place. Identifying these situations and planning accordingly helps ensure the best safety.

If the environment is too dangerous to leave your home, such as certain natural disasters or moments of political unrest, fortifying your location may be wiser than trying to abandon it.

Planning for sheltering in place requires you to stockpile essential resources, such as non-perishable foods, water, and medicines, to allow you to stay in place for a prolonged period. Being prepared for either sheltering in place or evacuating can help ensure your family's safety.

Stockpile Certain Supplies

During times of crisis, you don’t know when things will eventually settle. This is why you must stockpile certain items to ensure their safety and well-being for the long term.

With family emergency planning, stockpile supplies that will help protect your family from harm and keep them healthy when the emergency ends. Stockpiling is encouraged for shelter-in-place scenarios. However, you can also do it in advance for determined evacuation designations.

Only stockpile essential items. Here’s a list to take into consideration:

  • 2-week supply of water (as recommended by FEMA)

  • 2-week supply of non-perishable foods

  • First aid supplies

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Clothing

  • Emergency lighting (flashlights, lamps)

  • Tools (knives, scissors, etc.)

  • Important documents (IDs, legal documentations, etc.)

  • Cooking appliances (pots, utensils, etc.)


Tips to Ensure Your Family Emergency Plan Is Foolproof

tips to ensure your family emergency plan is foolproof

There is more to creating a family emergency plan than just planning. To help get the most out of it, follow these tips to ensure it’s effective when the time comes to follow through.

Practice the Emergency Plan

It’s a good idea to practice the plan through a series of drills and routines.

Some evacuation plans require you and your family to leave the area within minutes of the situation. In events where time is crucial, practicing drills is a good way of testing the efficiency of your strategy. If it takes too long to escape, you can adjust the pace as needed to address the time limit.

Practicing and going through your established emergency plans at least once or twice a year helps keep you and your family sharp on emergency protocols.

Stay Informed

Staying informed on current events is a great way to be ahead of the curve when planning for potential disasters.

You can plan ahead for some disasters by following reputable news sources. For example, news outlets notify people about natural disasters in advance, which can help you decide what's best for your family.

The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to alert services on your phone. They tend to be the most reliable in informing whether the state of emergency is lifted and can often provide you with information on what to do and how to prepare.

Learn Prepper Basics

Being willing to learn basic prepper skills is greatly beneficial for you in being adept and providing safety for your family.

Some skills such as first aid, effective communication, and food storage can help prepare you for almost any situation. Encouraging your family to learn with you is recommended, so they also learn the best practices.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many steps are there for creating a family emergency plan?

While the number of steps may vary depending on the situation, here’s a common series of steps to take: 

  • Step One: Determine likely risks

  • Step Two: Communicate with family

  • Step Three: Create a list of things you need and plans for emergencies

  • Step Four: Practice the emergency plans (evacuation and shelter-in-place) regularly

What are examples of family emergency meeting places?

Designated family meeting locations can be any safe and secure place. Some common locations include a room in a house, a nearby landmark, a community center, or another house or building within close access.

What is an example of a public emergency?

A public emergency is an event posing a significant threat to you and your family. These can be anything from natural disasters to public health crises, and industrial accidents to terrorist attacks or civil unrest.

Emergency Planning

Crafting a Family Emergency Plan: Essential Elements

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Keeping you and your family safe should be a priority during times of crisis. Doing what's best for your loved ones involves being wise and making the best decisions, such as creating a family emergency plan.

However, developing one takes time. This guide covers all the essentials to create an effective energy family plan and provides tips and guidance to ensure you and your family are safe during times of uncertainty.

Key Takeaways

  • Having a family emergency plan helps ensure your family is protected. Whether it's a natural disaster or a public health crisis, an emergency plan will better prepare you.

  • A family emergency plan should be well thought out and include important information. Typically, it has a communication strategy and an evacuation plan establishing a defined meeting point.

  • There are always ways to improve your family emergency plan. Practices such as doing drills and staying informed can help you make small improvements to the plan.


The Importance of Crafting a Family Emergency Plan

A family emergency plan increases the chances of your family’s safety during an emergency event. The plan typically includes instructions on what to do to ensure safety.

Establishing a family emergency plan reduces the time it takes to respond appropriately to threats. However, it requires adequate planning and consideration of such events to make them effective.

For example, in a natural disaster such as a nearby wildfire, a good family plan should address “how to act, where to go, and how to communicate.” In this scenario, you could gather certain essential items, head to a safe location from the wildfire, and reach out to emergency contacts.

In most cases, not every family emergency plays out the same way. Having various plans can help your family be more flexible in responding to various emergency situations.


What Should a Family Emergency Plan Include?

what should a family emergency plan include

Here are some important things to consider as you construct your emergency family plan.

Communication Plan

A well-thought-out communication plan involves establishing who to contact and how to do so during an emergency.

Create a list of emergency contacts for services or trustworthy people you know can help. Document the list and place it in an accessible location for easy access.

Within the emergency contact list, include the means of reaching out, which may be phone numbers, email, and location addresses, as well as any other means of contact, such as social media accounts.

Evacuation Plan

When developing an evacuation plan, identify the threat, and determine the best means of escape based on the event.

Making emergency plans for various scenarios, such as natural disasters, a break-in, or a national emergency, can help tailor the plan for the most efficient and safest evacuation method.

Map out the most effective evacuation routes and include details of alternative routes to take if one direction is not feasible. Include details on modes of transportation and note any items you should bring with you.

Have a Grab-and-Go Bag

Creating an accessible grab-and-go bag with essential items should be at the top of the list when developing any sort of evacuation plan.

To determine what items are essential to include in your bag, consider the nature of the threat. If it's a situation where you won't have access to the house for a prolonged period, include a change of clothes.

In addition, always include items you or your family can’t live without, such as essential medications. Incorporate basic necessities like food and water as well.

Remember to put the grab-and-go bag in a convenient location that’s quick and easy to reach during an emergency.

Take Essential Documents

Documents are one of the most common things people forget to take during an evacuation. Don’t make that mistake. Some documents, such as IDs, communication information, or irreplaceable legal papers, can lead to challenges later down the road when they aren’t in your possession.

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Specialist at FEMA, Nick Miller, advises:

“You have to prioritize. What is the most important stuff to get out? I always say that is clothing, food, your emergency shelter supplies, and your important papers. I would have all your important papers and documents backed up.”

One recommendation is to make copies of any important documents that you have. Create both physical and digital versions so you will always have a backup. Of course, there might not be time to grab hard copies if evacuation from an emergency is urgent. Storing important documents online ensures their safety.

We have you covered if you want reliable online storage to protect your important documents. Trustworthy offers an online platform to store and organize all your essential documents for later access. In the event of an emergency, you can rest assured knowing everything is kept safe and organized whenever you need it.

Meetup Location

Knowing where to meet up during a family emergency is essential. Choose a spot before the crisis occurs.

When determining a meetup location for your family, you must consider certain factors. One is how accessible the location is for all of your family members. Ideally, find one centralized location that’s achievable for all members to reach.

The meetup location must also be accessible during the emergency itself. If the known threat could block off the location, have an alternative strategy for your family to reach safety.

Consider reevaluating family emergency plans from time to time to determine their effectiveness. Do an emergency drill to test and gauge if it's the right means of evacuation for you and your family.

Plan for Shelter-in-Place Scenarios

Sometimes, there are emergencies where it’s safer to shelter in place. Identifying these situations and planning accordingly helps ensure the best safety.

If the environment is too dangerous to leave your home, such as certain natural disasters or moments of political unrest, fortifying your location may be wiser than trying to abandon it.

Planning for sheltering in place requires you to stockpile essential resources, such as non-perishable foods, water, and medicines, to allow you to stay in place for a prolonged period. Being prepared for either sheltering in place or evacuating can help ensure your family's safety.

Stockpile Certain Supplies

During times of crisis, you don’t know when things will eventually settle. This is why you must stockpile certain items to ensure their safety and well-being for the long term.

With family emergency planning, stockpile supplies that will help protect your family from harm and keep them healthy when the emergency ends. Stockpiling is encouraged for shelter-in-place scenarios. However, you can also do it in advance for determined evacuation designations.

Only stockpile essential items. Here’s a list to take into consideration:

  • 2-week supply of water (as recommended by FEMA)

  • 2-week supply of non-perishable foods

  • First aid supplies

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Clothing

  • Emergency lighting (flashlights, lamps)

  • Tools (knives, scissors, etc.)

  • Important documents (IDs, legal documentations, etc.)

  • Cooking appliances (pots, utensils, etc.)


Tips to Ensure Your Family Emergency Plan Is Foolproof

tips to ensure your family emergency plan is foolproof

There is more to creating a family emergency plan than just planning. To help get the most out of it, follow these tips to ensure it’s effective when the time comes to follow through.

Practice the Emergency Plan

It’s a good idea to practice the plan through a series of drills and routines.

Some evacuation plans require you and your family to leave the area within minutes of the situation. In events where time is crucial, practicing drills is a good way of testing the efficiency of your strategy. If it takes too long to escape, you can adjust the pace as needed to address the time limit.

Practicing and going through your established emergency plans at least once or twice a year helps keep you and your family sharp on emergency protocols.

Stay Informed

Staying informed on current events is a great way to be ahead of the curve when planning for potential disasters.

You can plan ahead for some disasters by following reputable news sources. For example, news outlets notify people about natural disasters in advance, which can help you decide what's best for your family.

The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to alert services on your phone. They tend to be the most reliable in informing whether the state of emergency is lifted and can often provide you with information on what to do and how to prepare.

Learn Prepper Basics

Being willing to learn basic prepper skills is greatly beneficial for you in being adept and providing safety for your family.

Some skills such as first aid, effective communication, and food storage can help prepare you for almost any situation. Encouraging your family to learn with you is recommended, so they also learn the best practices.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many steps are there for creating a family emergency plan?

While the number of steps may vary depending on the situation, here’s a common series of steps to take: 

  • Step One: Determine likely risks

  • Step Two: Communicate with family

  • Step Three: Create a list of things you need and plans for emergencies

  • Step Four: Practice the emergency plans (evacuation and shelter-in-place) regularly

What are examples of family emergency meeting places?

Designated family meeting locations can be any safe and secure place. Some common locations include a room in a house, a nearby landmark, a community center, or another house or building within close access.

What is an example of a public emergency?

A public emergency is an event posing a significant threat to you and your family. These can be anything from natural disasters to public health crises, and industrial accidents to terrorist attacks or civil unrest.

Emergency Planning

Crafting a Family Emergency Plan: Essential Elements

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

crafting a family emergency plan

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Keeping you and your family safe should be a priority during times of crisis. Doing what's best for your loved ones involves being wise and making the best decisions, such as creating a family emergency plan.

However, developing one takes time. This guide covers all the essentials to create an effective energy family plan and provides tips and guidance to ensure you and your family are safe during times of uncertainty.

Key Takeaways

  • Having a family emergency plan helps ensure your family is protected. Whether it's a natural disaster or a public health crisis, an emergency plan will better prepare you.

  • A family emergency plan should be well thought out and include important information. Typically, it has a communication strategy and an evacuation plan establishing a defined meeting point.

  • There are always ways to improve your family emergency plan. Practices such as doing drills and staying informed can help you make small improvements to the plan.


The Importance of Crafting a Family Emergency Plan

A family emergency plan increases the chances of your family’s safety during an emergency event. The plan typically includes instructions on what to do to ensure safety.

Establishing a family emergency plan reduces the time it takes to respond appropriately to threats. However, it requires adequate planning and consideration of such events to make them effective.

For example, in a natural disaster such as a nearby wildfire, a good family plan should address “how to act, where to go, and how to communicate.” In this scenario, you could gather certain essential items, head to a safe location from the wildfire, and reach out to emergency contacts.

In most cases, not every family emergency plays out the same way. Having various plans can help your family be more flexible in responding to various emergency situations.


What Should a Family Emergency Plan Include?

what should a family emergency plan include

Here are some important things to consider as you construct your emergency family plan.

Communication Plan

A well-thought-out communication plan involves establishing who to contact and how to do so during an emergency.

Create a list of emergency contacts for services or trustworthy people you know can help. Document the list and place it in an accessible location for easy access.

Within the emergency contact list, include the means of reaching out, which may be phone numbers, email, and location addresses, as well as any other means of contact, such as social media accounts.

Evacuation Plan

When developing an evacuation plan, identify the threat, and determine the best means of escape based on the event.

Making emergency plans for various scenarios, such as natural disasters, a break-in, or a national emergency, can help tailor the plan for the most efficient and safest evacuation method.

Map out the most effective evacuation routes and include details of alternative routes to take if one direction is not feasible. Include details on modes of transportation and note any items you should bring with you.

Have a Grab-and-Go Bag

Creating an accessible grab-and-go bag with essential items should be at the top of the list when developing any sort of evacuation plan.

To determine what items are essential to include in your bag, consider the nature of the threat. If it's a situation where you won't have access to the house for a prolonged period, include a change of clothes.

In addition, always include items you or your family can’t live without, such as essential medications. Incorporate basic necessities like food and water as well.

Remember to put the grab-and-go bag in a convenient location that’s quick and easy to reach during an emergency.

Take Essential Documents

Documents are one of the most common things people forget to take during an evacuation. Don’t make that mistake. Some documents, such as IDs, communication information, or irreplaceable legal papers, can lead to challenges later down the road when they aren’t in your possession.

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Specialist at FEMA, Nick Miller, advises:

“You have to prioritize. What is the most important stuff to get out? I always say that is clothing, food, your emergency shelter supplies, and your important papers. I would have all your important papers and documents backed up.”

One recommendation is to make copies of any important documents that you have. Create both physical and digital versions so you will always have a backup. Of course, there might not be time to grab hard copies if evacuation from an emergency is urgent. Storing important documents online ensures their safety.

We have you covered if you want reliable online storage to protect your important documents. Trustworthy offers an online platform to store and organize all your essential documents for later access. In the event of an emergency, you can rest assured knowing everything is kept safe and organized whenever you need it.

Meetup Location

Knowing where to meet up during a family emergency is essential. Choose a spot before the crisis occurs.

When determining a meetup location for your family, you must consider certain factors. One is how accessible the location is for all of your family members. Ideally, find one centralized location that’s achievable for all members to reach.

The meetup location must also be accessible during the emergency itself. If the known threat could block off the location, have an alternative strategy for your family to reach safety.

Consider reevaluating family emergency plans from time to time to determine their effectiveness. Do an emergency drill to test and gauge if it's the right means of evacuation for you and your family.

Plan for Shelter-in-Place Scenarios

Sometimes, there are emergencies where it’s safer to shelter in place. Identifying these situations and planning accordingly helps ensure the best safety.

If the environment is too dangerous to leave your home, such as certain natural disasters or moments of political unrest, fortifying your location may be wiser than trying to abandon it.

Planning for sheltering in place requires you to stockpile essential resources, such as non-perishable foods, water, and medicines, to allow you to stay in place for a prolonged period. Being prepared for either sheltering in place or evacuating can help ensure your family's safety.

Stockpile Certain Supplies

During times of crisis, you don’t know when things will eventually settle. This is why you must stockpile certain items to ensure their safety and well-being for the long term.

With family emergency planning, stockpile supplies that will help protect your family from harm and keep them healthy when the emergency ends. Stockpiling is encouraged for shelter-in-place scenarios. However, you can also do it in advance for determined evacuation designations.

Only stockpile essential items. Here’s a list to take into consideration:

  • 2-week supply of water (as recommended by FEMA)

  • 2-week supply of non-perishable foods

  • First aid supplies

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Clothing

  • Emergency lighting (flashlights, lamps)

  • Tools (knives, scissors, etc.)

  • Important documents (IDs, legal documentations, etc.)

  • Cooking appliances (pots, utensils, etc.)


Tips to Ensure Your Family Emergency Plan Is Foolproof

tips to ensure your family emergency plan is foolproof

There is more to creating a family emergency plan than just planning. To help get the most out of it, follow these tips to ensure it’s effective when the time comes to follow through.

Practice the Emergency Plan

It’s a good idea to practice the plan through a series of drills and routines.

Some evacuation plans require you and your family to leave the area within minutes of the situation. In events where time is crucial, practicing drills is a good way of testing the efficiency of your strategy. If it takes too long to escape, you can adjust the pace as needed to address the time limit.

Practicing and going through your established emergency plans at least once or twice a year helps keep you and your family sharp on emergency protocols.

Stay Informed

Staying informed on current events is a great way to be ahead of the curve when planning for potential disasters.

You can plan ahead for some disasters by following reputable news sources. For example, news outlets notify people about natural disasters in advance, which can help you decide what's best for your family.

The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to alert services on your phone. They tend to be the most reliable in informing whether the state of emergency is lifted and can often provide you with information on what to do and how to prepare.

Learn Prepper Basics

Being willing to learn basic prepper skills is greatly beneficial for you in being adept and providing safety for your family.

Some skills such as first aid, effective communication, and food storage can help prepare you for almost any situation. Encouraging your family to learn with you is recommended, so they also learn the best practices.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many steps are there for creating a family emergency plan?

While the number of steps may vary depending on the situation, here’s a common series of steps to take: 

  • Step One: Determine likely risks

  • Step Two: Communicate with family

  • Step Three: Create a list of things you need and plans for emergencies

  • Step Four: Practice the emergency plans (evacuation and shelter-in-place) regularly

What are examples of family emergency meeting places?

Designated family meeting locations can be any safe and secure place. Some common locations include a room in a house, a nearby landmark, a community center, or another house or building within close access.

What is an example of a public emergency?

A public emergency is an event posing a significant threat to you and your family. These can be anything from natural disasters to public health crises, and industrial accidents to terrorist attacks or civil unrest.

Emergency Planning

Crafting a Family Emergency Plan: Essential Elements

Joel Lim

|

January 18, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

crafting a family emergency plan

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Keeping you and your family safe should be a priority during times of crisis. Doing what's best for your loved ones involves being wise and making the best decisions, such as creating a family emergency plan.

However, developing one takes time. This guide covers all the essentials to create an effective energy family plan and provides tips and guidance to ensure you and your family are safe during times of uncertainty.

Key Takeaways

  • Having a family emergency plan helps ensure your family is protected. Whether it's a natural disaster or a public health crisis, an emergency plan will better prepare you.

  • A family emergency plan should be well thought out and include important information. Typically, it has a communication strategy and an evacuation plan establishing a defined meeting point.

  • There are always ways to improve your family emergency plan. Practices such as doing drills and staying informed can help you make small improvements to the plan.


The Importance of Crafting a Family Emergency Plan

A family emergency plan increases the chances of your family’s safety during an emergency event. The plan typically includes instructions on what to do to ensure safety.

Establishing a family emergency plan reduces the time it takes to respond appropriately to threats. However, it requires adequate planning and consideration of such events to make them effective.

For example, in a natural disaster such as a nearby wildfire, a good family plan should address “how to act, where to go, and how to communicate.” In this scenario, you could gather certain essential items, head to a safe location from the wildfire, and reach out to emergency contacts.

In most cases, not every family emergency plays out the same way. Having various plans can help your family be more flexible in responding to various emergency situations.


What Should a Family Emergency Plan Include?

what should a family emergency plan include

Here are some important things to consider as you construct your emergency family plan.

Communication Plan

A well-thought-out communication plan involves establishing who to contact and how to do so during an emergency.

Create a list of emergency contacts for services or trustworthy people you know can help. Document the list and place it in an accessible location for easy access.

Within the emergency contact list, include the means of reaching out, which may be phone numbers, email, and location addresses, as well as any other means of contact, such as social media accounts.

Evacuation Plan

When developing an evacuation plan, identify the threat, and determine the best means of escape based on the event.

Making emergency plans for various scenarios, such as natural disasters, a break-in, or a national emergency, can help tailor the plan for the most efficient and safest evacuation method.

Map out the most effective evacuation routes and include details of alternative routes to take if one direction is not feasible. Include details on modes of transportation and note any items you should bring with you.

Have a Grab-and-Go Bag

Creating an accessible grab-and-go bag with essential items should be at the top of the list when developing any sort of evacuation plan.

To determine what items are essential to include in your bag, consider the nature of the threat. If it's a situation where you won't have access to the house for a prolonged period, include a change of clothes.

In addition, always include items you or your family can’t live without, such as essential medications. Incorporate basic necessities like food and water as well.

Remember to put the grab-and-go bag in a convenient location that’s quick and easy to reach during an emergency.

Take Essential Documents

Documents are one of the most common things people forget to take during an evacuation. Don’t make that mistake. Some documents, such as IDs, communication information, or irreplaceable legal papers, can lead to challenges later down the road when they aren’t in your possession.

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Specialist at FEMA, Nick Miller, advises:

“You have to prioritize. What is the most important stuff to get out? I always say that is clothing, food, your emergency shelter supplies, and your important papers. I would have all your important papers and documents backed up.”

One recommendation is to make copies of any important documents that you have. Create both physical and digital versions so you will always have a backup. Of course, there might not be time to grab hard copies if evacuation from an emergency is urgent. Storing important documents online ensures their safety.

We have you covered if you want reliable online storage to protect your important documents. Trustworthy offers an online platform to store and organize all your essential documents for later access. In the event of an emergency, you can rest assured knowing everything is kept safe and organized whenever you need it.

Meetup Location

Knowing where to meet up during a family emergency is essential. Choose a spot before the crisis occurs.

When determining a meetup location for your family, you must consider certain factors. One is how accessible the location is for all of your family members. Ideally, find one centralized location that’s achievable for all members to reach.

The meetup location must also be accessible during the emergency itself. If the known threat could block off the location, have an alternative strategy for your family to reach safety.

Consider reevaluating family emergency plans from time to time to determine their effectiveness. Do an emergency drill to test and gauge if it's the right means of evacuation for you and your family.

Plan for Shelter-in-Place Scenarios

Sometimes, there are emergencies where it’s safer to shelter in place. Identifying these situations and planning accordingly helps ensure the best safety.

If the environment is too dangerous to leave your home, such as certain natural disasters or moments of political unrest, fortifying your location may be wiser than trying to abandon it.

Planning for sheltering in place requires you to stockpile essential resources, such as non-perishable foods, water, and medicines, to allow you to stay in place for a prolonged period. Being prepared for either sheltering in place or evacuating can help ensure your family's safety.

Stockpile Certain Supplies

During times of crisis, you don’t know when things will eventually settle. This is why you must stockpile certain items to ensure their safety and well-being for the long term.

With family emergency planning, stockpile supplies that will help protect your family from harm and keep them healthy when the emergency ends. Stockpiling is encouraged for shelter-in-place scenarios. However, you can also do it in advance for determined evacuation designations.

Only stockpile essential items. Here’s a list to take into consideration:

  • 2-week supply of water (as recommended by FEMA)

  • 2-week supply of non-perishable foods

  • First aid supplies

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Clothing

  • Emergency lighting (flashlights, lamps)

  • Tools (knives, scissors, etc.)

  • Important documents (IDs, legal documentations, etc.)

  • Cooking appliances (pots, utensils, etc.)


Tips to Ensure Your Family Emergency Plan Is Foolproof

tips to ensure your family emergency plan is foolproof

There is more to creating a family emergency plan than just planning. To help get the most out of it, follow these tips to ensure it’s effective when the time comes to follow through.

Practice the Emergency Plan

It’s a good idea to practice the plan through a series of drills and routines.

Some evacuation plans require you and your family to leave the area within minutes of the situation. In events where time is crucial, practicing drills is a good way of testing the efficiency of your strategy. If it takes too long to escape, you can adjust the pace as needed to address the time limit.

Practicing and going through your established emergency plans at least once or twice a year helps keep you and your family sharp on emergency protocols.

Stay Informed

Staying informed on current events is a great way to be ahead of the curve when planning for potential disasters.

You can plan ahead for some disasters by following reputable news sources. For example, news outlets notify people about natural disasters in advance, which can help you decide what's best for your family.

The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to alert services on your phone. They tend to be the most reliable in informing whether the state of emergency is lifted and can often provide you with information on what to do and how to prepare.

Learn Prepper Basics

Being willing to learn basic prepper skills is greatly beneficial for you in being adept and providing safety for your family.

Some skills such as first aid, effective communication, and food storage can help prepare you for almost any situation. Encouraging your family to learn with you is recommended, so they also learn the best practices.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many steps are there for creating a family emergency plan?

While the number of steps may vary depending on the situation, here’s a common series of steps to take: 

  • Step One: Determine likely risks

  • Step Two: Communicate with family

  • Step Three: Create a list of things you need and plans for emergencies

  • Step Four: Practice the emergency plans (evacuation and shelter-in-place) regularly

What are examples of family emergency meeting places?

Designated family meeting locations can be any safe and secure place. Some common locations include a room in a house, a nearby landmark, a community center, or another house or building within close access.

What is an example of a public emergency?

A public emergency is an event posing a significant threat to you and your family. These can be anything from natural disasters to public health crises, and industrial accidents to terrorist attacks or civil unrest.

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