Hurricane Preparedness PDF Print E-mail

Make a Family Communication Plan

Phone lines in the emergency area may be busy. It may be easier to make phone calls into a different town than to connect by phone with someone in the same town.

 

Hand pressing screen on a smart phone

Text messages may still go through, even when phone lines are very busy.

You and your loved ones may not be together when a disaster hits. Make a plan for how you will connect to each other. Start by taking the following steps:

  • Complete a contact card for each family member. Everyone should keep these cards with them at all times.
  • Choose an emergency contact. Memorize the phone number if you can. A friend or relative who lives out of town might be easier to reach in an emergency. During an emergency, family members can text or call this person to let them know that they are safe.
  • Make sure all your family members know how to text. Make sure everyone knows how to turn on a cell phone, find the text messaging app, type a message, and send it to a contact.
  • Know emergency telephone numbers. Keep them in your cell phone and post them near your home phones. Some good numbers to have are your emergency contact, the fire department, police station, and hospital near you

Make a Family Disaster Plan

Before making your disaster plan, its important to know what types of emergencies are likely in your area and the best way to respond. For example, if tornadoes are common in your area, you will need to know what the warning signs are and where to take shelter. Check with your Local Red Cross chapter or Emergency Management Agency for more information.

  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster. For example, during an earthquake you will need to "drop, cover, and hold on" under a sturdy desk or table. However, during a tornado, you would need to seek shelter in a lower level room without windows. Learn more about different types of disasters.
  • Choose multiple meeting places. Different disasters may require you to go to different places. Make sure you choose a meeting place in your neighborhood, a meeting place just outside your neighborhood, and a meeting place out of town.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways to get out of each room.
  • PRACTICE.Review these plans with all members of your family. Practice your disaster plans by running drills with the whole family.
  • Don't Forget Pets! Think about what you would do with your pets, because they may not be allowed in emergency shelters. For more information, check out Preparing Your Pet for Emergencies.

Get your kids ready

  • Teach children how and when to call 911 for help.
  • Quiz your kids on the plan to make sure they remember what to do.
  • Include your kids in planning and drills.

Ready Wrigley can help your kids be ready for many kinds of emergencies!

Take these additional steps to be prepared

Large plastic bin filled with emergency supplies, like bottled water, food that won’t spoil, a first aid kit, and a flashlight.

Check and replace your supplies throughout the year, as needed.

  • Make an emergency kit, and be sure to check and replace your supplies throughout the year, as needed.
  • Stay informed; find the best ways to get disaster information from local authorities.
  • Make sure that you have enough insurance coverage for your property. Specifically, think about the types of disasters that are common in your area.
  • Learn how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main shut-off locations.
  • Show each family member how t
  • Ready: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed. Social Media at CDC Emergencyo use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it's kept.

    Be Informed

    There are many ways that authorities share emergency warnings, updates, and safety instructions. Take steps now to make sure you’ll get the information you need when an emergency happens.

    Stay Informed

    Check with your local emergency management agency to find out what kinds of emergencies could happen in your area. Then:
  • Find out how to get local emergency alerts. Check with your local health department or emergency management agency to see how they share emergency information. Some places use:
    • Emergency texts
    • Phone calling systems
    • Digital road signs
    • Social media
    • Sirens and speakers
    These are in addition to emergency alerts sent by the federal government.
  • Learn about your community’s warning signals. Be able to recognize what the warning signals sound and look like and what you should do when you hear or see them.
  • Tune in. Listen to and watch reliable news sources. Keep a weather radio handy.

Watches and Warnings

In addition to understanding HOW you will be informed of potential threats, you need to understand the terms that are used for weather threats.
  • A watch means that there is a high possibility that a weather emergency will occur. When a severe storm watch is issued for your area, continue to listen to the radio

    Learn How to Shelter in Place

    Photo of a family sitting at a table making a disaster plan

    "Shelter-in-place" means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school, or in between. It may also mean "seal the room;" in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to "shelter-in-place" if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.


    How do I prepare?

    At home

    • Choose a room in advance for your shelter. The best room is one with as few windows and doors as possible. A large room, preferably with a water supply, is desirable—something like a master bedroom that is connected to a bathroom.
    • Contact your workplaces, your children's schools, nursing homes where you may have family and your local town or city officials to find out what their plans are for "shelter-in-place."
    • Find out when warning systems will be tested. When tested in your area, determine whether you can hear or see sirens and/or warning lights from your home.
    • Develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member knows what to do. Practice it regularly.
    • Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes emergency water and food supplies.

    At work

    • Help ensure that the emergency plan and checklist involves all employees. Volunteers or recruits should be assigned specific duties during an emergency. Alternates should be assigned to each duty.
    • The shelter kit should be checked on a regular basis. Duct tape and first aid supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be replaced regularly.

    In general

    • Learn CPR, first aid and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). (Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for more information.)

    How will I know when I need to "shelter-in-place"?

    Fire or police department warning procedures could include:

    • "All-Call" telephoning - an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called "reverse 9-1-1".
    • Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.
    • Outdoor warning sirens or horns.
    • News media sources - radio, television and cable.
    • NOAA Weather Radio alerts.
    • Residential route alerting - messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

    Facilities that handle potentially dangerous materials, like nuclear power plants, are required to install sirens and other warning systems (flash warning lights) to cover a 10-mile area around the plant.

    For more information, contact any of the following:

  • Your local American Red Cross chapter
  • Your state and local health departments
Your local emergency management agency