Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Plan Ahead

Residents of Padre Island and Corpus Christi in Texas evacuate ahead of Hurricane Bret in August 1999.

More than a collection of names, phone numbers, and street addresses, an Emergency Action Plan  is an instruction manual for how to stay healthy, stay informed, and stay in contact in an emergency. Because an Emergency Action Plan affects everyone in your household, the whole household should be involved in making and practicing the plan.

Stay Healthy


Know how to stay healthy, and when and where to find medical assistance.

Stay Informed


Pre-identify official sources of timely and reliable emergency information.

Stay In Contact


Discuss ways to communicate with family, friends, and caregivers.

Emergency Action Plans

According to FEMA , over 60 percent of people do not have an emergency plan that they have discussed with their household. Here are 5 simple things you can do to start your Emergency Action Plan :

  • Find phone numbers for your physician, pediatrician, pharmacist, veterinarian, and the Poison Control Center.
  • Ask a friend or relative who lives outside of the immediate area—preferably in another state—to be your family’s Out-of-Town Contact.
  • Identify at least two (2) ways out of every room in your home.
  • Pick a shelter-in-place location inside your house in case of severe weather, and two (2) emergency meeting places outside your home where your family can go in an evacuation.
  • Ask your child’s school or daycare about their emergency communication and family reunification plans.
  • Give everyone in your family a copy of the Emergency Action Plan to keep in their purse, backpack, or glove box; to hang in their locker; or to save as a photo on their smartphone.
  • Update your Emergency Action Plan whenever your family moves, your child changes schools, you change jobs, have a child, or experience some other significant life event.