September is National Preparedness Month 

"Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today."  

Your family may not be together when a disaster occurs so it is important to make an emergency communication plan for what your household will do before, during and after an emergency. Today we have more ways to stay connected with our families and friends than ever before. We are staying in touch with cell phones, internet, social media and email. But disasters can change things quickly.

Public Health Preparedness and Response encourages you and your household to sit down together during National Preparedness Month this September and create an emergency communication plan.

It's important to make a plan so you are able to stay in touch with your family, neighbors and close friends. Talk about how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact each other; how you will get back together and what you will do in different situations. Here are other recommendations:

  • Include phone numbers of family members and others who can provide extra help, such as caregivers.
  • Plan for the care of family members with medical or access and functional needs.
  • Remember your pets and other animals.
  • Post emergency numbers on your refrigerator.
  • Pick an out-of-town contact who can serve as a hub for information if you can't reach others in your local area.
  • Have a least one phone with a cord in your home in case of power outage. Corded phones will work even when the power has gone out. Keep in mind that cell phones, cordless home phones and computers may not work if the power is out.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows how to send and receive text messages on their cell phones. Texts may go through even when phone calls may not.
  • Have a car charger for your cell phone. If the power is out in your home, you can still charge your cell phone in your car.
  • Program "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) phone numbers into all family cell phones. That way first responders or medical staff will know how to contact family right away if you are hurt and unable to talk.

You will be better prepared to safely reunite with your family during an emergency if you plan ahead and communicate with others before an emergency.

Throughout the month of September, Preparedness and Response will be posting National Preparedness tips on Facebook at www.facebook.com/edcpreparedness.