Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, important considerations when making an emergency plan:

Just like your organization's Business Continuity Plan, one of the most important factors in helping your friends and family prepare is communication. 

Ask yourself:

How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?How will I let loved ones know I am safe?How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings  Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting:

Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go  Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a flood, winter storm or earthquake.

Collect information  Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes: phone (work, cell, office), email, social media, medical facilities, doctors, service providers, school

Identify and pick an emergency meeting place  Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.  Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs. If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.

Share information  Make sure everyone carries an Emergency Plan Wallet Card in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.

Practice your plan Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.

In addition to the PDF files linked above, the templates below will help you get started:

Be Smart.  Take Part.  Know your Alerts and Warnings

Be Smart.  Take Part.  Document and Insure Your Property

Family Emergency Communication Plan

Family Emergency Communication Plan for Kids

Pivotal IT is proud to be a member of the America’s PrepareAthon! and hope you will join us in celebrating National Preparedness Month by helping to spread the word; encouraging colleagues, friends and family to be ready for emergencies and disasters, as well as situations that can affect us indirectly when disaster strikes.

For more information on America’s PrepareAthon! and ways to take action, we encourage you to explore FEMA's PrepareAthon! website to download additional resources, read preparedness stories, and register your own preparedness activities.

Be sure to check back for week three of National Preparedness month, where we focus on preparing through service, importance of community resilience and ways to get involved with community preparedness.

Image and Resources courtesy of FEMA