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FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations. Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.

Check with your children’s day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include identification planning as part of their emergency plans.

Family Communication Tips


Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. 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.

Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE 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.

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.

Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.

 

PLAN TO PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR FAMILY - PLAN A PLAN

Emergency Plan to Protect Your Family

Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan.

Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs and safely shutting off utilities. You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Read more about school and workplace plans.

Once you’ve collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss the information to put in the plan. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.

Be Red Cross Ready Checklist

  1. I know what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in my community.
    I have a family disaster plan and have practiced it.
    I have an emergency preparedness kit.
    At least one member of my household is trained in first aid and CPR/AED.
    I have taken action to help my community prepare.

Five Minute Warning: Are you prepared?

Red Cross