Make a Disaster Plan

Step 1: Start Your Plan

Visit the American Red Cross "Make a Plan" webpage.

Family Disaster Plan
(En Espanol)

Be Red Cross Ready

Step 2: Implement Your Plan

  • Post emergency numbers by phones (ambulance, police, fire, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 for emergency help.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the utilities (water, gas, and electricity).
  • Check your insurance coverage.
  • Get training from your local fire department for each family member on how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it’s kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt. Make a Plan3.jpg
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supply kit.
  • Take first aid and CPR classes.

Step 3: Important Considerations

  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find the safest places in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes and other disasters to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.
  • Know the types of disasters that are most likely to happen in your community and know what to do in each case.
  • Pick two places to meet: one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire, and one outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Make sure everyone knows the addresses and phone numbers of your meeting places.
  • Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be your “family contact.” After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance than local.
  • Check on the emergency plans of all schools your children attend.
  • Practice and maintain your family plan.
  • Quiz your kids every six months.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
  • Replace stored water and stored food every six months.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) regularly.
  • Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.

For more information on developing your disaster plan, please visit and