Family Emergency Plan

Does your family have a plan in place in case a disaster happens?

Most families do not have a plan in place, but spending the time to develop one can make all the difference if your family is involved in a disaster.

Emergency Planning is Simple, but Critical!

Here is the ultimate way to keep your Family Emergency Plan simple!

  • If you have to stay in your home for an extended period, do you have what you need to be on your own for several days?
  • If you can’t get to your home, do you have an alternate place established to meet your family at?
  • If you have to leave your home quickly, do you know where you are going and what critical items you need to take with you?

Read below for more details on items to consider.  However, regardless of the type of incident affecting you these three items are really the foundation of what you are planning for.

Emergency Kits

4889116207_440b640655_bFirst off, do you have an emergency kit prepared?  Exactly what you and your family needs in a kit will vary, but likely will have the following types of items:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Battery powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle (for signaling for help)
  • Multi purpose tool or small tool assortment
  • Special health needs
  • Children’s needs
  • Pet’s needs
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Financial documents

Identifying the Hazards in Your Community

Now that you have put together a kit so you have some basic needs to be self sufficient, you should do a little research on the hazards faced in your community.  The different hazards we face in our communities come with different actions that you would need to take.

Below is a ranking of identified hazards here in Gallatin County.  Keep in mind that anything on this list could cause a huge impact, regardless of where it is on the list.  For example, some events may be higher on the list because they occur more frequently, yet less frequent events may cause more harm.

Gallatin County Risk Analysis

Creating a Plan

Based on the hazards you face, a good start to you plan would be answering the following questions:

  • Where are your meeting places?
    • Not just in your house, but in the neighborhood and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • Who is your family’s emergency contact person?
    • If you can’t directly contact each other, who will everyone try to contact with their status.  It is often good to use someone that lives elsewhere so they aren’t part of the disaster.
  • What are your escape routes from your house and where will you meet?
  • If you have to leave your house, how will you take care of your pets?
    • Not only if you leave them behind, but what if they need to be relocated.
  • Have you identified what you need to take with you in case of evacuation?


FEMA Family Planning Guide 201302200738512307 (2.6 MB, 8090 downloads)


After You Have a Plan

familyNow that you’ve spent the time to develop a plan with your family, make sure you also do this:

  • Practice the plan with your family!
    • Practice makes perfect, and during the disaster is not the time to learn it!
  • Review it periodically!
    • Communities change, jobs change, kids get older – all things that will vary the plan.