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Creating a Family Support Plan
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations.
· It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
· Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
· You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and manmade, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door. Call the closest chapter of the American Red Cross for emergency information that applies to your community.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare, and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.
Developing a family emergency plan is important for any emergency, not just a COOP event. As a minimum, a family emergency plan should include:
· Contact and communications information.
· An immediate emergency checklist that includes medical, financial, and legal information and other important documents.
· Supplies, including medications, for at least 72 hours.
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