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Make a Family Plan

Preparedness kit

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When a disaster strikes, having a family disaster plan in place beforehand can ensure you and your family members' safety.

Here are four steps to follow when your family creates their plan:

1. Find Out What Could Happen to You

  • Contact your local Red Cross chapter or homeland security office before a disaster and ask what

    types of disasters are most likely to happen (In Wyoming, the most common disaster is flooding.) and ask for information on how to prepare for each.

  • Learn about your community's warning signals: what do they sound like? What you should do when you hear them?

  • Ask about animal care after a disaster; remember, animals are not allowed inside emergency
    shelters because of health regulations. If your family evacuates to a shelter, you'll need to have a place for your animals to go.

  • Find out about the disaster plans at your parents' workplace, your school or day care center, and other places where your family spends time.

2. Create a Disaster Plan

  • Meet with your family and talk about why you need to prepare for disaster.

  • Ask your parents to explain the dangers of fire, severe weather and earthquakes.

  • Plan to share responsibilities with your family members and work together as a team.

  • Talk about the types of disasters most likely to happen and explain what to do in each case.

  • Pick two places to meet: one right outside your home (in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire) and one outside your neighborhood (in case you can't return home.) Everyone must know the
    address and phone number.

  • Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier reach someone out of the area. Texting may work where a phone call won't. Other family members should contact this person after a disaster and tell them where they are.

  • Talk about what to do in an evacuation.

3. Complete A "Home Hazard Hunt"

In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause a fire is a potential hazard.

4. Practice and Maintain Your Plan

  • Have a "family quiz night" every six months to review everything in your plan.

  • Replace stored water and stored food in your family disaster kit every six months.

  • Test smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.

  • Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster
    until help arrives.

  • Find out your neighbors' special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons.







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