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How do I create a family communication plan to prepare for a disaster?

Because you and your family may not be together when a disaster hits, it’s important to create a communication plan to help you and your loved ones connect and get help. Complete a contact card for each family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or backpack. These additional steps can also help you prepare:

  • Identify an out-of-town contact, such as a friend or relative, who family members can call to let them know they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town since phone lines may be jammed. An out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Teach your family members how to text. It may seem like second nature to some of us, but not everyone texts. During an emergency it’s often easier to get a text message delivered rather than a phone call.
  • Subscribe to an emergency alert system. Check with your local health department or emergency management agency to see if  one is offered in your area. Post emergency telephone numbers near phones at home or save them in your cell phone (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 for help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.