Family Disaster Plan

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if an earthquake struck during the daytime when the kids are at school and the parents are at work? What would you do if basic services (gas, electricity or telephones) were cut off? The answers are unique to us all, but having a basic plan can help alleviate the anxiety we will all feel following a large earthquake.

Basic Family Survival Skills

  • Practice “drop, cover, and hold on - Identify safe spots in every room such as under sturdy desks and tables. Practice this with all family members.
  • Escape Routes - Have routes planned for each part of your home or workplace. It is important that every member of your household know the quickest and safest escape routes from each room, and all the possible hazards in their path.
  • Reunification Plan - You should decide together where you will meet if a major quake hits when the family is separated. You should identify two sites: one outside the home and one outside the neighborhood.
  • Communication Plan - Following a disaster, telephone and wireless communications may be overloaded and you may not be able to get through. Nevertheless, insure that the telephone receivers at home have not been shaken off the hook. You should have a telephone contact out of state. Separated family members can use this contact to find out if everyone in the family is OK, to relay messages, and to set up an alternative meeting place. Insure that EVERY family member has a list of key contacts and their telephone numbers.
  • Emergency Kit - make sure that you have a disaster kit stocked and ready to sustain you and your family for 72 hours.

Some useful documents for making your Family Disaster Plan:

Family Communications Plan Worksheet

Family Emergency Plan Wallet Card