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Make a Plan

Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. And, don’t forget to think about specific needs in your family. Your family’s needs change over time, so update your plan regularly.

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A line of school age kids on their smart phones

Who Will We Contact?

Pick the same person for each family member to contact. Pick someone out of town—they may be easier to reach in a disaster.


Text, don’t talk. In an emergency, phone lines may be tied up. It may be easier to text and this leaves phone lines open for emergency workers.

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A family making a plan

Where Will We Meet?

Decide on safe, familiar, accessible places where your family can go for protection or to reunite. If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations. Consider places in your house, in your neighborhood, and outside of your city or town so you’re prepared for any situation.

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woman showing a girl the Family Emergency Communication Plan

Practice, Practice, Practice!

On your own list or using the resources below, write down your contacts and plans. Make sure everyone in the family has copies and keeps them in a safe space, like in a backpack, wallet, or taped in a notebook. Put them in your cell phone if you have one. Hold regular household meetings to review and practice your plan.

Downloadable Resources

Print out a Communications Plan and fill it in with your family.

Family Communications Plan (Kids)

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Family Communications Plan (Adults)

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Family Emergency Communication Plan Fillable Cards

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Last Updated: 12/14/2022

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