Do You Have a Family Emergency Plan in Place?

What does protecting your family mean to you?

If it means being ready for the worst. Having a bug-out bag packed and ready to go. Having a plan in place for you and your loved ones…

Keep reading. 

Preparedness is the key  

One of the oldest survival slogans is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” 

Yes, it’s a cliché. But I’m hard-pressed to think of one that is more accurate. Or one that makes more sense for the times in which we live.

Overseas wars that affect our economy. Extreme weather that occurs in one form or another year ‘round. Physical and cyber attacks against our country’s infrastructure. Terror threats from outside and inside our country. 

It’s all going on right now. And it’s not likely to end. Ever. If we fail to put together a family emergency plan, then we plan to fail when one is needed. 

You see, the vast majority of Americans agree they should be prepared. But most have never actually gotten around to doing it. It’s not a front-burner issue for them. But it should be.

There are certain things you can do now that will help you be prepared for just about any emergency. First and foremost is creating a family disaster plan.

This includes having printed out copies of identification like IDs, passports, and birth certificates. 

You’ll need a plan for sheltering in place or bugging out in an emergency.

It’s time to sit down with your family and go over your plan of action. Where will you go? Who’s responsible for grabbing the bug-out bag? The food? What about Fido? 

Tips for your family plan

The best way to prepare your family for a crisis is making everyone feel like an important contributor. Including the young and the elderly. 

Following are a few tips for those who have chosen to talk to their kids and grandkids about being prepared for a crisis: 

  • Include your children or grandchildren in family preparedness discussions.
  • Have your kids or grandkids memorize their personal information, including their names, parents’ names, address, and phone numbers.
  • Learn the disaster response policies of your kids’ or grandkids’ school or day care center. Have a back-up plan in place for someone to pick them up if you can’t.
  • Map out at least two pre-arranged meeting places that would provide shelter for your family. Returning to your home in a crisis might not be possible.
  • Have at least two different prearranged evacuation routes mapped out. Including one that would not require a vehicle.  
  • Create a communication plan that everyone is aware of. Keep in mind that cellphone towers could be disabled in an emergency.
  • Prepare a small bug-out bag for each child or grandchild. For small children, include items such as copies of identification, a family photo, toy, game, book or puzzle, plus treats.
  • Make a list of any special needs considerations. Including disabilities, dietary/medical needs, and pets/service animals.
  • Have as much cash as you can packed away safely, but easily accessible to you. Credit cards may be temporarily worthless and ATMs may be down.  

Essential information

If you can keep the following information on paper and/or on your smartphone, in a computer document or in the cloud, you will be well prepared for an emergency.

  • Printed copies of identification (driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Up-to-date medical insurance information
  • Updated will
  • Power of attorney information
  • Life insurance information
  • Bank account numbers and passwords  
  • List of current bills due
  • Doctor and veterinarian information
  • Spare keys for your home and car

In an emergency situation, many people will be frazzled and panicking. With a family emergency plan in place, that won’t be you. You’ll be ready for whatever life throws at you.


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