Family Disaster Resources

Preparing for Disaster

The Pediatric Disaster Resource and Training Center provides families with information on how to prepare for disasters.

Think Safety, Security and Basic Needs

Know in advance where your loved ones are supposed to meet in case they are separated. Make sure you have the following basic needs met for your children:

  • Extra diapers and wipes
  • Blankets
  • Appropriate food -- formula, jarred baby food, breastmilk for infants and children who are breastfed (in a disaster, it is still beneficial to breastfeed; read about infant nutrition during a disaster)
  • Psychosocial support for children

General Disaster Preparation Reminders

Decide on an out-of-state friend or family member to be the single point of contact for your family (after a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance). Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person. For any disaster, decide on a meeting place away from home where you and your family will gather if you become separated.

  • Keep your car's gas tank filled. Functional gas stations will be in short supply in a power outage.
  • Know evacuation routes and exits.
  • Know locations of gas shut-off valve, water main valve, and circuit breaker/fuse box.
  • Learn procedures for opening/closing valves and breakers.
  • Have a safe refuge area/meeting place for the family.
  • Rehearse evacuation from the home.
  • Change smoke and gas detector batteries at least once a year.
  • Incorporate fire and life safety practices.
  • Keep a disaster bin filled with essential survival items. These include batteries, flashlights, blankets, changes of clothing, non-perishable foods, water, bleach, can openers, tool kit, axe and shovel.
  • Make a family reunification plan -- make sure family members know where to meet if you cannot go back to your home.
  • Plan for alternate care for children, dependent elders and pets in case you cannot get home.
  • Keep important documents safe in a water/fire proof container.

Preparing for Disasters That Happen When You're at Work

  • Review the Emergency Preparedness manual and learn what general responsibilities you have.
  • Know where the back-up systems of communication (emergency phones, pay phones) and power (red plugs, extension cords, flashlights) are in your work area.
  • Make sure your area’s emergency call tree has accurate phone numbers with backup numbers for each employee.
  • Participate in drills -- these drills help employees become familiar with their duties and to assist in identifying weaknesses in the facility plan.
  • Keep a small personal emergency kit at work that may include:
    • Comfortable shoes
    • Change of clothes
    • Small food items
    • Personal medication and extra eye glasses
    • Small amount of money
    • List of phone numbers of family and friends 

For more information on how to keep your family prepared for a disaster, visit www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org.