10 essential items for your preparedness kit

Creating an Emergency Communication Plan: Stay Connected When It Matters Most

Emergencies can strike at any moment, and having an effective communication plan in place can make a significant difference in ensuring your family’s safety. Here are the essential steps and tools you need to create an emergency communication plan.

  1. Identify potential emergencies: Consider the types of disasters that are most likely to affect your area, such as earthquakes, floods, or severe storms. Visit Ready.gov to learn more about the hazards in your region.
  2. Establish a communication strategy: Designate a primary and secondary method of communication for your family. Landlines, cell phones, and the internet are common options, but consider alternatives like walkie-talkies, satellite phones, or ham radios in case traditional methods fail. We’ll dive deeper into ham radios in a separate post. Read our guide on emergency preparedness kit for more suggestions.
  3. Choose a family meeting spot: In case of evacuation, determine a safe location where your family can regroup. This could be a local shelter, school, or community center. Check FEMA’s disaster recovery center locator to find nearby facilities.
  4. Designate an out-of-area contact: Select a trusted friend or family member who lives outside your immediate area to serve as a point of contact for your family. This person can relay information and coordinate communication if local networks are disrupted. Ensure all family members have the contact’s phone number and email address.
  5. Create a contact list: Compile a list of important phone numbers and email addresses for family members, medical providers, schools, and emergency services. Store this information in a secure, easily accessible location, such as a waterproof pouch or a cloud storage service.
  6. Share your plan: Make sure all family members are familiar with the emergency communication plan and understand their roles. Regularly review and update the plan as needed.
  7. Practice your plan: Schedule regular drills to practice your communication plan and identify any gaps or weaknesses. This can help ensure your family is prepared to respond effectively during an emergency.
  8. Stay informed: Keep informed about local emergency alerts and news by monitoring radio, television, and NOAA Weather Radio. You can also sign up for local alerts through websites like Emergency Email & Wireless Network.
  9. Equip your family with essential tools: Provide each family member with essential communication tools, such as a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries. Include these items in your emergency preparedness kit.
  10. Prepare for power outages: Keep a supply of backup power sources, such as portable chargers and solar panels. Ensure your communication devices remain functional during power outages.

By creating and practicing an emergency communication plan, you can help ensure your family’s safety. Stay connected when it matters most!

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