Disaster Preparedness Month: Make a Plan!

This week’s Disaster Preparedness Month tip: Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends.

Step 1: Put together a plan.
Discuss these four questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

1.  How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
Pierce County ALERT is a free service that allows you to sign up and receive notifications about emergencies that may affect the locations you care about. Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for our Emergency Alert Program. This system provides you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, flooding, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. Visit this link to sign up today!

2.  What is my shelter plan?
Taking appropriate shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location, when disaster strikes. Sheltering outside the hazard area could include staying with friends or relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups.

3.  What is my evacuation route?
A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances, you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for an immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.

4.  What is my family/household communication plan?
Creating your Family Emergency Communication Plan starts with one simple question: “What if?” Communication networks could be unreliable during disasters. Planning in advance will help ensure that all the members of your household—including children and people with disabilities know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency. Planning starts with three easy steps: Collect. Share. Practice.


Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.
As you prepare your plan, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in your network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children


Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan.
Resources are available to help put pen to paper when its time to create a plan.

This checklist will help to collect the necessary information to create your emergency communications plan, should a disaster strike.

This form will allow all members of your family to have contact information to help family members get in touch with each other, should you not all be together at the time of a disaster. Also available is a version for the kids!


Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household
It’s imperative to practice the plan with all members of your family so everyone knows what to do.

Please visit this link for a checklist of everything to consider when creating an emergency plan. For even more information, visit www.ready.gov.

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