Friday, October 21, 2011

Preparing for a Disaster, Part 3 - Family Communication Plan

October is Disaster Preparedness month. Be it Earthquakes, Floods, Fires Hurricanes or Zombies, you need to be ready. Preparing for one prepares you for the others in a big way. 

Having a communication plan is crucial in the event of a disaster. Chances are good that your cell phone will not work, you won't have internet (no e-mail, and, gasp!, no blogs!) home phones will probably be out of order too. So unless you are adept at smoke signals, you should put a plan in place to communicate with your friends and loved ones.

Here are some ideas:

 1. Plan on leaving a message for family members with the local red cross as to where you will be in an emergency.

  2.  Plan a meeting location and a couple of back up locations in case your first choice is inaccessible or destroyed. Make sure the location is secure and in a public place, like a school, red cross shelter, shopping center, etc. Out of the way location could be difficult to get to and may be unsafe.

   3. Make a list of family members names, date of birth, social security number, phone numbers and any important medical information (medications, allergies, conditions, etc.). Include doctors names, pharmacy, medical and property insurance info.

 4. Give each member the name and number of an out of state contact and make sure they have the above info in a locked, safe place. Keep your copies locked up and give a copy to at least one other family member for safe keeping.

 5. Include address and phone numbers for work locations, schools, and other places.

For a form you can complete, click here to go to the FEMA Website.

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