Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance:
- How you will contact one another;
- How you will get back together; and
- What you will do in different situations.
Family Emergency Communications Plan:
- It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program the emergency contact(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone or list them under "Emergency". If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE or Emergency listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
- Post emergency and contact numbers by all phones in your home.
- If you can not phone your out-of-town contact, it may be possible to e-mail them. Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
- Make sure everyone knows how and when to call 911.
- Subscribe to alert services.
This Family Emergency Communication Plan should be completed and posted so that the contact information is readily accessible to all family members.
Additional Resource Information: