What you can do to prepare in case of a disaster of any kind

Have a family emergency plan
  • Make sure everyone knows where the exits are in your house, workplace or school.
  • Decide how you will contact each other.
  • Have a meeting place everyone knows in case you can’t go home.
  • See more suggestions at this link.
Have a communications plan
  • Pick a person for everyone to contact in case you can’t get in touch with each other. A family member or someone out of town might be reachable if cell phones are down in a disaster area (which happened in New York City on 9/11).
  • Equip everyone with contact cards with phone numbers for parents, neighbors, siblings and out-of-state relatives (here’s a template for emergency cards for kids and a template for parents.)
  • If you’re not in immediate danger, think about texting instead of calling. Text messages can sometimes get through during emergencies more quickly than cell-phone calls.
Make a 72-hour kit for your family
  • Include things such as water (one gallon per person, per day), at least a three-day supply of food and flashlights. (See a full kit list here.)

Source: the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready campaign, at Ready.gov