What to do
- Meet with your family and explain the need for a Family Disaster Plan. Explain to all members, including children, the likely threats and the dangers of each.
- Explain to each family member what he or she should do during a disaster event.
- As a family locate a safe place in your house to shelter for each type of hazard.
- Designate a friend or relatives house as an alternative shelter if a member of your family is unable to make it home when a hazard threatens or you are not allowed to return to your house due to an evacuation of your area. This should also be the place you self evacuate to in the event your area has to be evacuated. All family members should know the name of the occupants, their address and telephone number. If you have pets ensure that you can bring your pets as well.
- Develop an emergency communications plan. In the event that family members become separated, as can happen with the swift onset of an event such as flooding during the day when parents are to work and children at school, have a plan for getting back together.
- Arrange for an out of town relative or friend to be your family contact point. This is the person, living well away from you, who you will contact to provide information on how you have fared during the disaster and the condition of the family. This person will then inform all other relatives and friends of your situation. They also become the focal point for inquiries as to your welfare from others.
- Make sure every family member has a clear idea of what will be required if an evacuation notice is issued. What they must do and what the family must do to make their way to safety.
- Produce check-lists of action to take in preparation for specific disaster events.
- Place emergency telephone numbers clearly near the phone. Teach children to ring 000 in an emergency.
- Document your Family Disaster Plan and practice it with the whole family.