Have a Family Emergency & Communication Plan 

Being prepared also requires that you develop a family emergency and communication plan.  Here are some things to consider putting in your emergency plan:

· Emergency phone numbers and important information—doctors, veterinarians, insurance information, an out of town contact.

· Do you or any of your loved ones have any special medical or access and functional needs?  Here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Keep a current list of all your medications, including dosage and frequency, and any special instructions.
  • Does anyone use any medical equipment that is electricity dependent?  Have you considered what you might do to ensure continued use of that equipment if the power goes out?
  • Maintain a list of any medical equipment used, including serial numbers.
  • Have medical alert tags or written descriptions of medical needs in case you are unable to describe them to a first responder.
  • Extra pairs of eye glasses and batteries for hearing aids or other equipment.
  • If you have a service animal, be sure to have extra supplies, such as food, medications and water.

Additional Resources: Ready.gov Disabilities
                                    Ready.gov Seniors

· Do you have children?  Depending on the age of your child/children, there may be different things you want to consider when planning for a disaster.

Infants and toddlers:

  • Do they attend a daycare or preschool during the day? Have you made arrangements with a friend or family member to pick your child/children up from their care provider if you are unable to reach them?
  • Have you included extra formula and/or baby food, diapers, wipes, extra clothing and a few toys or special items in your emergency kit?
  • If your child takes any medications, or uses any special medical equipment (especially electricity dependent equipment), be sure to consider those items in your emergency plan and kits.

School-aged children:

  • Are you familiar with your child's school emergency plans?
  • Ask your child's teacher if there are any emergency supplies you should send to school with your child.
  • Have you identified a friend or family member that can pick up or stay with your child until you can reach them?
  • Is your child familiar with your family communication, evacuation and reunification plans?

· Do you have pets or other animals? You'll want to be sure to have a plan and supplies for them.

  • Do you have carriers, crates, trailers or other equipment that you may need to evacuate your animals and have you trained your animals to get into that equipment?
  • Practice loading your pets into their crate/carrier and putting them in the car for a ride. You should also practice trailering your large animals and hooking them up to a vehicle.
  • Does someone else know how to help with your animals if you need assistance, like a neighbor?
  • Do you have extra food, water, medications, identification, leashes?
  • Are they microchipped?
  • Remember, Red Cross Shelters may not be able to co-locate human sheltering with animal sheltering. Be sure to identify friends, family, boarding facilities or hotels that accept animals in advance so that you and your animals can both evacuate to a safer location.

For more information, visit the El Dorado County Animal Services website

· Do you commute to work? Consider completing a Commuter Emergency Plan.

In emergencies, power and cell phone service can go down, or work intermittently.  Think about the different ways you can communicate with your family during an emergency.  If you don’t know how to text already, now is the time to learn!  Text messages use a different bandwidth than regular phone calls do and can often times get through when calls cannot be completed. 

Download these brochures that include a form you can fill in and tear off to start your emergeny plans today!