Preparedness is key, which is why it’s so important to have a plan. While disasters can be unpredictable, a plan can help ensure that you and your family stay safe when a disaster strikes. So, please take time to create a disaster plan by following the simple steps below.
Step 1: Begin Developing your Plan by Answering these Questions
- Which types of disasters are most likely to affect my area?
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my evacuation route?
- If I must evacuate, what is my shelter plan?
- What is my family’s communication plan?
- Is my emergency disaster kit ready to go?
- Remember to include face masks, hand sanitizer and other types of disinfectants due to COVID-19
Step 2: Consider your Family’s Specific Needs
Disaster plans can vary depending on your lifestyle and daily responsibilities. Take into account some of these unique factors when developing your disaster plan:
- Elderly family members
- Disabilities and functional needs
- Medical needs, such as prescriptions and equipment
- Dietary needs
- Pets or service animals
- Cultural and religious considerations
Step 3: Write Down your Disaster Emergency Plan
After answering the questions above and considering your family’s specific needs, you’re ready write down your disaster emergency plan.
Your emergency plan should include:
- Names and contact information for each household family member
- Include individual medical needs or information if applicable
- An out of town contact to act as a central point of communication to help your household reconnect if separated
- Insurance information
- Contact information for medical providers
- Emergency meeting place
- Determine a safe place where your family can go for protection or to reunite if separated.
- Any other important phone numbers, which may include:
- School or childcare facility
- Emergency services
You can either download and complete FEMA’s emergency plan form or use their plan as a guide to create your own. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s mobile app is also an excellent resource to help you create your emergency plan.
Step 4: Practice your Plan with your Family
At least once a year, you’ll want to review, update and practice your family’s disaster emergency plan so you’ll be ready whenever a disaster may strike.