make a family emergency and communication plan

If you are separated from your family during a catastrophe, making a family communication plan ahead of time will help you to reach your family much faster. Identify a place where you could meet your family, in case transportation routes are damaged and you can’t get home. If you have children in school, talk with their school to learn about their preparedness plan, procedures and supplies.

communication map

There are several online tools now available that can help you reunite with your family and loved ones after a catastrophe, such as social media channels, Google Person Finder and American Red Cross “Safe and Well” registry.

After a catastrophe, it can also be much easier to reach someone out-of-area. Your out-of-area contact can communicate with you about the location of other family members impacted by the catastrophe. Before catastrophe strikes, know your out-of-area phone contact:

  • Identify an out-of-area friend or relative and name them as your emergency contact.
  • Create and print a contact phone card online now.
  • Make copies of your new contact phone card for every person in your family to carry at all times.
  • Post emergency phone numbers and your out-of-area contact phone card by your home phone.
  • Cell phones may not able to make calls, however the text message capability often works.  It will likely take extra time to connect and will use up your battery, so have a plan for recharging if the power is out!

Download the contact card template here