Make a Plan

The time to start thinking about how you’ll respond if a disaster strikes is not after a disaster has occurred. By creating an emergency plan with your household you can help empower yourselves and others to respond safely and rationally in an emergency.

The planning process can be as simple as thinking and talking through various emergency scenarios. As you create an emergency kit, discuss with your household how and why you might use the items in your kit.

Your plan may be different if your whole family is at home rooting for the Seahawks when a disaster happens versus if everyone is at work, school, yoga class, or otherwise apart from each other. Talk about where your  household members spend most of their time, and the best ways they could react if an emergency happened while they were not at home.

Communications Plan

Consider the following questions when making an emergency communications plan:

  • How will my household get emergency alerts and warnings?
  • How will my household get in touch if cell phones, internet, or landlines don’t work?
  • How will I let my loved ones know I am safe if we aren’t together when an emergency occurs?
  • Does my household have an out-of-area contact?
  • Does my household have any special needs or considerations that may impact how we communicate during an emergency?

For more information on making a communications plan, including templates to use, visit ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Evacuation Plan

Prepare now for the event of an evacuation. Your household should have evacuation plans in place in case you need to evacuate: your building, your neighborhood, or the entire area.

Consider the following questions when making an emergency evacuations plan:

  • How will my household get to safe locations during an emergency?
  • How will my household get to a safe meeting place after an emergency?

There may be conditions under which you will decide to avoid a hazard entirely, or where may be situations where you are ordered or asked to leave by authorities. Follow these guidelines for evacuation:

  • Follow evacuation instructions quickly.
  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Practice!
  • Try to keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle at all times. If an evacuation order seems likely, try to keep a full tank of gas.
  • Become familiar with alternate routes and means of transportation into and out of your area.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts, they may not be safe.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as flooding or downed power lines.
  • If you do not own a vehicle, make arrangements for how you will evacuate if necessary. Plan with family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Listen to local radio stations for further instructions.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals are allowed in public shelters.

If time allows:

  • Contact your out-of-area contact. Tell them where you are going.
  • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
  • Unplug unnecessary electrical equipment.
  • Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
  • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and layered clothing.
  • Check in with neighbors who may need additional assistance.
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