Father playfully explains an emergency to his young daughter

Prep Step #2: Create a Family Emergency Plan

We’ve teamed up with our national partner, Save The Children®, on its Get Ready. Get Safe. initiative to help families become more prepared for emergencies. We invite you to complete the three Prep Steps with your children – step #2 is below, or you can start at the beginning if you’re just joining us!

Preparation is key when it comes to navigating emergencies – it’s important that each family member knows exactly what to do if a scary situation occurs. That’s why we encourage you to make a family emergency plan.

Making a family emergency plan isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds. Here are a few items that should be discussed and/or determined as part of your family’s plan (the full list from Save the Children can be found here):

  • Designated meet-up locations if you become separated.
  • A safe room or shelter where you could shelter-in-place.
  • Out-of-town family contacts and how to reach them (this should include the emergency contact listed on each child’s In Case of Emergency (ICE) card).
  • Basic personal information that your child can use to identify himself or herself if they get separated from you.
  • How and when to call 9-1-1 or local emergency number

When making a family emergency plan, it’s also important to stock up on basic items needed during a disaster, such as water, flashlights, a battery-powered radio and other survival items. Save the Children’s Disaster Checklist provides a comprehensive list of supplies to have on hand, and we’ll cover this in more detail in Prep Step #3.

As you focus on making your family’s emergency plan, use the “Spot the Difference” activity below to involve your child (click image below to download and print). Help him or her find the differences between the two houses and identify which house has important safety items needed to be prepared for emergencies. Then, discuss what each item is and why it’s important.

SpottheDifferencesFB

You’re one step closer to becoming Prep Step prepared! Complete Step #3 and create a Disaster Supplies Kit with your family.

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About the Author
Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson is the Director of U.S. Preparedness for Save the Children, helping families and communities prepare for emergencies through the Get Ready. Get Safe. initiative. Additionally, Sarah is the lead author of the organization’s Prep Rally curriculum, an emergency preparedness program that helps elementary-aged children and their families learn the basics of preparing for disasters. She holds a master’s degree in health communications from Johns Hopkins University.