How to make an emergency plan in 6 easy steps

1. Get your household information squared away

Emergencies happen with little or no warning, so it’s essential to have all your household information easily accessible. That includes insurance documents, birth certificates, passports and local maps. Place these items in your emergency kit and have it put away. Make secondary copies of each document and place them in your car emergency kit. With two sets of prints, you’ll be prepared for any emergency, whether on the road or at home.

2. Know your local hazards

To create an effective emergency plan, you need to know the hazards that are likely to affect your family. Is it a tornado, a power outage, a flood? Understanding is important. Because it gives you a specific roadmap and helps you find the best way to prepare. See our article on how to build an emergency kit? Here you will find a detailed overview of how to develop a hazard-risk assessment. Use it to determine the most likely disaster scenario your family could encounter. It’s worth noting that catastrophic events like a comet or zombie apocalypse didn’t make the list. At practical emergency kits, our name says it all. We believe in preparing for real life situations your family may encounter every day of the week.

For information on how to create a local hazard list, see our article on:

• How do you build an emergency kit? You will find information on how to develop a risk risk assessment.

3. Emergency meeting place

All family members may not be together when an emergency arises. Identifying designated meeting locations is essential. One site could be your home and the second could be a hotel or a friend’s house. Try to have the second emergency meeting along your evacuation route. This will allow every family member to know which way to go in case you get separated or your home gets destroyed or becomes inaccessible.

It is also important to assume that ALL communications will not work, including cell phones, landlines, and the Internet. When you can’t reach a family member during a disaster, your emergency plan acts as a playbook to coordinate each family member’s response. For example, if your son or daughter is at school and an earthquake occurs. Your emergency plan may include meeting at a local hospital or shelter. Likewise, if you can’t reach each other during a power outage, your emergency plan may require the use of amateur radio.

* See the article on an amateur radio license that might just save your life

4. Plan for your pets and emergencies

Just as you would make an emergency survival kit for yourself and your family, make one for your pets. You may need to pre-plan an animal shelter in your evacuation zone or talk to emergency contacts to arrange for help. Your pet emergency kit should include water, food, blanket, first aid, food bowl, extra collar and leash, metal stake with dying leash, can opener, waste bags, and any medications.

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5. Emergency contacts

Having all your essential contact information in one place will come in handy when you need to get in touch with a loved one or friend. Make a physical copy and put it in your emergency kit. This copy, along with your emergency plan and emergency kit, puts your family in the top 10% of Americans willing to respond to an emergency.

6. Put your contacts and emergency plan in your emergency kit

An emergency kit is not just a bag, it is your everything. It’s your plan, your evacuation route, your food, water, shelter. It’s your emergency contacts, your insurance, your money, your emergency evacuation alerts. It’s your salvation. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of an emergency kit. We like to think of it as a life jacket, you don’t use it often, but if you do, it will save your life.