Being Informed

Establish an out-of-state 24-hour Telephone Contact

  • Calls out will not overload phone lines, as will calls coming into a disaster area.
  • All relatives should be informed now on procedures to call the phone contact, not after a disaster has occured. Individual location and status should be requested.
  • Take color pictures of every room plus pictures of valuables. Send one copy of legal pictures and one copy of pictures to an out-of-state contact.


Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster

Pick at least two meeting places:

  • A location a safe distance (at least 75 feet) from your home in case of fires.
  • A place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
  • An alternate place outside your neighborhood in case access to the first one is blocked.


Other Considersations

  • Stock supplies to last several days to a week for each family member.
  • Be prepared to relocate to a shelter during prolonged power outage.
  • Have extra cash on hand in case electronic transactions (ATM card, credit card, etc.) cannot be processed.
  • Work with your family in talking about the steps each needs to take to be ready if disaster happens.


Meet with Neighbors

Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly or disabeled persons. Make plans for childcare in case parents can't get home.


Contact your local emergency management office

  • Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community.
  • Ask how you would be notified.


Evacuation Routes

When community evacuations are deemed necessary, local officials may notify you using one or more of the following: the Emergency Notification System, the National Weather Radio network, the outdoor warning sirens, and the Emergency Alert System. Local media may also provide valuable information regarding the evacuation process.

The amount of time you have to evacuate will depend on the nature of the disaster, so be prepared to leave at a moments notice. You should have enough water, food, clothing, and emergency supplies to last three to five days. Keep in mind, many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities. By taking the time now to prepare, you will be better off during a real evacuation.


Planning for Evacuation

The most fundamental stage of an evacuation is the planning stage. Only through preparedness and planning will an evacuation run smoothly for you and your loved ones. Here are some things to consider when planning for an evacuation:

  • Assemble a disaster/evacuation kit. Include basic survival items such as a radio, flashlight, extra batteries, food, water, clothing, and all medications.
  • Communicate with everyone in you household and plan where you would go if you were told to evacuate.
  • If everyone in your household is not at home when an evacuation is announced, make sure everyone knows where to meet outside of the evacuation area.
  • Have an alternate evacuation route. During certain types of emergencies, some roads might be impassable.
  • Know another way to get to safety from your house.
  • Make arrangements ahead of time with relatives and friends you may be able to stay with during an evacuation.


Where to Go During an Evacuation

If an evacuation is necessary, put your evacuation plan into action. Make sure everyone in your household is accounted for, gather your evacuation kit, and secure your property.

In some instances, mass care shelters may be opened to provide sheltering to individuals who have been temporarily displaced from their homes. Pay attention to local authorities and news media to see if such a shelter is available. If you have other options for shelter available to you, make use of them instead of a mass care shelter.